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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Can one be an art director AND a copywriter?

Can one be an art director AND a copywriter?

I understand that now, in most cases, art directors work in tandem with copywriters, but is it possible to be both? Not to say one would ignore suggestions to their work, but is it possible for someone to be both an art director and a copywriter? If it is, then would they bring both aspects to bear on each project, or would they be assigned visuals on one piece and text on another?

intro Can one be an art director AND a copywriter?It is possible to be both, though most people excel at one discipline a bit more than the other. We have two art directors as a team, that can both write. One also directs and edits (the Dove “Evolution” team). More and more creative directors think of creatives as, well, creative—in many cases with multiple talents to bring to the party. We’ve also been open to people joining us who were trained as an art director but trying out their writing skills, and vice versa. Often, a group of people end up taking on projects and roles blur. An idea may start with an intern, with multiple seniors helping to develop it and shepherd it through production. An interactive person may have the big campaign idea that art directors and writers from the agency might help run with. Ideas can come from many corners. As for who executes— it’s whoever is best poised to do the best job. If you’re paired with another AD, it may come down to who has the most time available to execute, or which of you has the better skill set for a particular kind of execution. Same with writing. Who will do the best job? Or, both of you have a go and see who cracks it best. Ultimately it’s your CD’s choice to point you in the direction he or she wants you to go, so we can only tell you for sure how we would 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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