Finding the Right Balance

PaperOne day, you wake up and you are an Art Director. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, you have the Icona Pop song stuck in your head. You realize that you are exactly where you want to be—in the middle. Some people may want to be a little to the right or a little to the left, but I personally like to have my cake and eat it too. I started out my career with a big slice of interactive pie. For the past 4 years, I have worked for Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide’s NJ-based interactive marketing group. My key role was to work on various interactive projects (websites, iPads, banners, e-mails). I learned so much from my amazing co-workers. Some of them have left to find a different path in their design careers, but I still hold them all close to my heart. I will never forget the teachings of those from my past.

Today is a new day. I am pulling the cobwebs out of my brain and refreshing myself to the world where I began: PRINT! I went to college at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I remember spending my grocery money on expensive paper for my design projects. There is nothing better than walking down the north side of 18th Street toward 6th Avenue to Paper Presentations and then spending an hour feeling textured paper. I can still smell it. (Everyone close your eyes and smell the paper with me). In college, I mostly studied print. We all need to acknowledge and appreciate where we came from, because it made us into the designers we are today. Over the past few years, I have been lucky to help out with some print projects. I have been moving back and forth between print and digital for years now.

My new role as an Art Director for a women’s health client is like sunshine on a cloudy day. I am lucky enough to be working on both print and interactive design. For this particular project, we are working with another multimedia agency, located in NYC. My Art Director partner and I do a lot of traveling back and forth from New York to Jersey. Our collaborators hold most of the digital work, but now that I’m in town, we are bringing some of the interactive work to New Jersey, Ogilvy style (not to be confused with Gangnam Style). As we all know, it is hard to be the new kid on the block, and the agency has a wonderful, tight-knit interactive team. The more that I go there, the more I feel like a member of the design gang. The other day, the SVP Creative Director gave me an e-mail design test. He threw me some copy and a logo and let me at it. I came up with a few concepts that I felt confident about. When I met up with him the other day, we discussed the designs and it turns out that he really liked them. He said that they had a good balance of design and easy development. I couldn’t have been happier! It is always an exciting feeling when someone has seen your work for the first time. Each time is like a new chapter in your life, another page has turned where you get to prove yourself.

I think we all need to achieve a good balance of interactive and print. Most of us come from a print past and we need to look to the digital future. Print isn’t going anywhere. I still love paper, drawing in my sketchbook, and cutting things up with scissors. We also need to embrace the technology ahead of us. There is a lot of fun, innovative work coming our way and we all need to get excited about it! Let’s all strive for balance, because that is where we will be strongest!

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