My first job when I started out in the graphics field was pasting up ads (actually, we used melted wax) for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian at UMass Amherst in 1977. It was a 36-page daily newspaper that was published on weekdays and distributed for free around the campus.
Student sales reps would go out to the local businesses in town (liquor stores were big advertisers since the drinking age was 18) and bring back a ratty piece of notebook paper with some scribbled text and a couple of crudely drawn shapes. My job was to translate it into artwork that would print in the paper, with all the important information emphasized and spelled correctly.
Business owners got cranky if the ad didn’t look how they expected and would refuse to pay, hence making the student sales rep cranky when they didn’t get their commissions. I’ve been translating ideas into printed materials ever since.
Recently, I’ve been talking with my old friends at Blackcoffee about what I do. They are a brand expression consultancy that helps companies build more effective brands by integrating brand strategy and brand identity, and they are very good at what they do (www.blackcoffee.com). I have worked with them for about ten years, so I knew they could help me define what I do for my clients that other companies are likely to find valuable.
Blackcoffee owner Mark Gallagher told me, “The reason I like working with you is that you help me be more creative. If I have an idea for something I want to do, I don’t need to know how to do it. I just ask you.”
So that’s what I do. Because of my thirty years of experience in printing, sales, marketing, promotional products, direct mail and my interest in staying current on how things can be done, I am in a position to help people be more creative. That’s what this site is for. If we can do business, great. If not, feel free to take what you can from this forum and share comments about what you know as well.
(This article was originally posted October 2007 at my old blog at http://bemorecreative.ideatranslator.net. When I put a link to it in my office email signature, my boss threatened to fire me. I don’t work for that guy anymore.)