Some of What You Need To Know

lost parrot

A wise man once said “I’m going to teach you everything you know, but not everything I know”. Unfortunately, he was eight feet high in a movie theatre.

The following are observations about the print production, agency life, and work in general. Its organized into easily-ignored categories.

The Workday

  • Everyone’s day ends at six, except yours. This explains the 5:59 dump on your desk by someone on their way home.
  • When the word “Family” is uttered, be very careful. You already have a family (setting aside metaphysics for the moment)—everything else are associations.
  • You can and will be thrown overboard—it’s the Family Way.
  • People come to the Studio because its way more interesting than their veal-cube. They’ll want to play in traffic. Watch their little fingers near knives.

The Workflow

  • Similar to a marathon—last files to arrive are the ones that are most screwed up. No, make that a destruction derby.
  • Just because that art director or designer went to a name school doesn’t mean their files won’t be screwed up. Remember, they think they’re Frank Gehry—they get to dream, not to execute.
  • The Inverse Law has many applications. The amount of misery generated by a client/account mgr/customer is inversely proportional to their understanding of the process.
  • The file that has to be FedEx’d rush is the one that is missing something.

Human Relations

  • Agency life revolves around Three Constants: Who’s Cool or Not, This Season’s Fad Gadget, and Who’s Doing Who. This was found taped under David Ogilvy’s desk.
  • Stay on good terms with the support staff and Accounts Payable.
  • 98.6% of office romances end badly. Don’t ask about the other 1.4%. Wait until that special someone works somewhere else, then let it rip.
  • Your problems suck.
  • A good joke lasts forever.
  • Get an outside life.
  • Beware of utopian office schemes that get breathless write-ups in design magazines. Make note who’s got an office with a locking door. Also check to see if there’s adequate ventilation and work surfaces—you are going to be putting together those comps.

The Client/Customer

  • They’re paying the freight.
  • Explain complicated things concisely. Give them a reason to consult you.
  • They know things you don’t. Maybe you’ll learn something.

That’ll do for now.

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