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This book is filled with candid interviews with the best of the best! If you're looking for real advice, look no further. William Burks Spencer has done designers a huge favour by tracking down some of the most influential designers and creative professionals of our time and asking them the questions we are dying to know. If you want to know what creative agencies are looking for when they hire- this is the book for you.
The only thing I would have liked to see is a variety in the type of questions asked. This would have eliminated some of the repetitive answers that were given.
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Emily C. Sengenberger
- Published on Amazon.com
I've worked in advertising for 10 years and I can't recommend this enough for someone wanting to get into the business or a junior who wants to improve their book. You really start to understand how each agency and each person thinks so you can build a book that will get noticed. Plus, the way Spencer presents the material, you feel like you are right across from each guru, asking the questions yourself. It's so "Insider" it's almost like you are cheating.
This is a brilliant idea. Most of these portfolio books are all the same: do a visual solution campaign, do a headline campaign, 5-7 print campaigns of 3 ads, etc, etc. Those books serve a purpose but (1) they are getting really dated as the industry changes faster and faster and (2) they are a one-size-fits-all approach. The industry isn't like that. What they look for at CP+B is going to be very different from McCann. Even within agencies, different people have different opinions. Anyway, this is a totally different format. It's just interviews with creative directors, from Dan Wieden and David Droga level down to senior creatives who would probably see your book before it gets to a CD. Also some recruiters (who are important players in the game) and a couple ad school directors. The questions/topics are pretty consistent: what do you look for in a student portfolio? How important is finish? Can sketches be enough? Long copy? Should you show non-advertising stuff and what kind of stuff works? How to get in touch with the CDs you want to work for, how to interview, job-hunting strategies...etc. It's pretty interesting to see how one creative director has a completely different opinion from another on certain questions. This is a great book for an ad student or someone making their first book. I actually think anyone in the industry would find this really interesting, even if they have a great job. It also gives you good insight into how these people think and what the industry is like, which might be great for someone who just wants to figure out if advertising is for them. However, if you have no experience and have taken no ad classes don't expect this book to teach you how to make an ad. This book is valuable for people who are a little more advanced than that. If you really want nuts and bolts basics about how to come up with concepts, etc. go with "Hey Whipple Squeeze This" by Luke Sullivan or "The Advertising Concept Book" by Pete Barry. Then read this. And you'll probably have to take some classes or go to ad school too. It's getting harder and harder to get into advertising as a creative.
This is a fantastic book. I've been teaching advertising for the past 6 years and will be adding this to my curriculum this semester. The best thing about this book is that there is no one answer. Really enjoyed hearing all the different opinions from top creatives. I wish I had this book when I was starting out. If you're thinking about advertising as a career this is a must read.
As an ad student that is about to graduate and needs to have his portfolio constantly in check I feel lucky I found this book. Breaking In gave me valid tips and shined a little more light on this moment I am in. Building a portfolio can easily turn into a daunting task and this book helps separate what to do and what not to do based on advices from the greats of advertising. Having access to the opinions of people like Wieden, Goodby, Droga, Tony Granger, who made it big by doing great work and know what they are looking for feels like a privilege. There are obvious traps and questions raised by anyone who is building an advertising portfolio and those "problems" are touched on here constantly as the writer makes similar questions to many top people in advertising, as well as recruiters, getting an array of opinions that ultimately lead to some great conclusions that can help guide you.
Wieden, Goodby, and Droga walk into a bar...except they aren't doing body shots off some cute blonde's rack. Um, ok, maybe they are. In any event, this book's got the 3 ad legends telling you exactly what they look for in a portfolio. I'd pay the 30 bucks just for that alone. But, if that weren't enough, the book's also got interviews with over 100 other top industry creatives and recruiters from the past decade (or two- sorry guys, you know who you are). They not only tell you what they expect in a portfolio, but also provide tips and pointers on how to land that dream creative position and keep it as well.
Plus, it's a rather easy read. William Burks Spencer does a great job of making the interview questions short and to the point. He also asks the exact questions you'd want to ask these guys if you got the chance to sit alone in a room with them yourself. Well, at least the ones he writes about. I'm certainly curious to see the others...
Bottom Line: Most "portfolio" books teach you how to come up with a winning idea. This one teaches you how to come up with a winning portfolio. Get the book. You won't regret it.