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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Can a designer become an AD without ad school?

Can a designer become an AD without ad school?


I wanted to thank you for introducing me to the world of advertising with your book Pick Me. It is perhaps the most horrifying book I’ve read to date.
Currently, I’m a graphic designer working at a great design firm with a mentor who challenges me. Sounds great right? It does if you’re not aching to be an art director.
My problem is, I have a complete design portfolio with very little work that can transfer to an ad book. My options: 1. Go to Ad school 2. Build my book with spec work and try and get a job.
What exactly would I learn at Ad School? I understand the brainstorming process, client/creative relationships, working with a team of creatives, and creating compelling visuals but only as a designer. Do you think a graphic designer turn art director wannabe can do without school (and years of debt)?

intro Can a designer become an AD without ad school?As much as the art director/designer jobs overlap, they are different jobs that approach solving a problem in different ways. We won’t say it’s impossible to become an art director without an ad school program under your belt, but it would increase your chances exponentially (assuming you go to a good school). Check out the student work on the VCU Adcenter and Miami ad school sites and be honest: do you really think you could get to those solutions without learning how they do it?

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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