The ‘look’ is God in church of designers

Rick Holmes’ letter (DW 31 May) about designers creating ad campaigns again highlights the void between the two disciplines.

Like Rick, I have first-hand experience of the two industries, having been a typographer at Saatchi Advertising during most of the 1980s. And I am convinced that the “animals” are fundamentally different, with “creativity” being the only common factor.

The advertising efforts of designers addressing political spin in the same DW issue clearly demonstrates that designers should stick to what they are good at. In advertising, the “concept” is God, whereas the “look” is more often God in design.

If you asked most designers for 30 concepts by lunchtime you are likely to get ten variations of only three – but carefully laid out.

In advertising this type of request is not unusual and the resulting 30 routes will be unconcerned at this stage about layout. But fear not, the art director can’t design an effective identity: a logo maybe, but not an identity.

“Vive la difference”, I say. After all you wouldn’t use a plumber to do the plastering – or would you?

Roger Felton

Managing partner

Felton Communication

London EC1N

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