Monday, May 21, 2018

An Art Director Must Watch... Helmut Krone on the "New Page"

Helmut Krone intuitively understood how graphic design could define an institution's personality.

"The page, " he once said, "ought to be a package for the product. It should look like the product, smell like the product...Every company, every product, needs its own package." Without ever designing a logo — often without even using a logo — he created corporate images that endure to this day.

How many companies can be said to "own" a typeface the way that Volkswagen does Futura Bold?

Krone was the backbone and defining visual voice of Doyle Dane Bernbach, then the palace of art directors greatness, all championed by the "creative revolution" genius Bill Bernbach. With the exception of a few years in the early seventies, he would spend his entire career at DDB.

He was admired by many of greats of advertising. George Lois once called him "a complex kraut" and "a fidgety perfectionist who worked with deadly Teutonic patience".

Some of his simplest, clearest, most effortless-looking work was the product of brutal sweat.

Krone’s goal was to create an advertising look that was substantially different than what was being done by his peers. In an interview with the New York Times in 1969, Krone said, “great advertising really has to be talked about by people and become part of the national scene”. The advertisement he created in 1960 for the Volkswagen Beetle did just this. The campaign that Krone created with this simple advertisement “ushered in the era of modern advertising by promoting a ‘position’ or ‘unique selling proposition’ designed to associate each brand with a specific idea in the reader or viewer’s mind”.

A beautifully designed, relentlessly researched, well written and extremely hard to find book written by Clive Challis, Helmut Krone. The book. Graphic Design and Art Direction (concept, form and meaning) after advertising's Creative Revolution (via Amazon) captures his greatness in the book's 268 lavishly illustrated pages.

Krone was addicted to "zigging when everyone else was zagging".

Additional Reading:

Was Helmut Krone a Genius? He Didn't Think So.

The Ad that Changed Advertising.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cannes is around the corner.

With the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity just around the corner here's an engagement that certainly has potential to bring home some hardware for Paris based Rosapark.

Belgian train operator Thalys has been utilising holographic technology to turn the residents of Brussels into five-metre-high statues, all in a bid to prove the city is one that’s worth visiting.

Employing holographic technology on the site of the Mont des Arts in the center of Brussels, the installation invites passers-by to enter a booth and have their figures captured by a camera in 360. The image is then turned into a slate grey, statuesque hologram and projected as a five-metre-high silhouette onto a pedestal.

Copy underneath the monument reads: ‘In Brussels, the real monuments are its people’.


Monday, April 23, 2018


It's easy, you can do it naked or in your favorite onesie and it's free.

Creative Director Cameron Boyd (left) formerly of Cummins & Partners Canada and Tony Miller (right) CDFeedback Creator and ECD AndersonDDB at the Seneca College AdTLC Portfolio Review Night.

So, you are a soon to graduate or budding copywriter, art director or designer looking for your first job this is a dream come true.

I remember how difficult it was to get my book reviewed by Creative Directors when I got started in the business. They seemed to be busier than a one-armed bricklayer. Endless phone calls. Leaving countless messages with the "gate keepers" (the receptionist - note: to this date I will never forget the 2 pack-a-day of cigarettes receptionists voice at Baker Lovick). Then along came voicemail (years before email)... uggggggh!!!! Now you can pick through a list of some of the top CD's, send/upload your work and await the feedback. Yup, that easy.

I am proud to announce the launch of created by Tony Miller ECD of AndersonDDB. Tony was kind enough to let me be part of his planning over the past 3 years before getting this off the ground. The Seneca College Creative Advertising program is proud to support this opportunity for all "students of advertising".

This site is an amazing portal to receive feedback from some the most humble, creative and passionate Creative Directors. CDFeedback allows you to reach out, ask for feedback on your book, your latest campaign, your ideas. The Creative Directors are committed to giving that feedback in a timely manner.

Over time the site will offer articles and tips on what to expect, prepare and career launching.

The list of CDs are a "Who's Who" of our industry including Simon Creet, Nelson Quintal, Linda Carte, Matt Litzinger, Brian Murray, Ronny Chong, Cher Campbell, Brian Murray, Shaun King, Jamie King, Jason Andrews, Lance Martin, Kinney Edwards, Alan Madill, Chad Borlase, Cosmo Campbell, David Daga, David Crichton, Suzanne Pope, Jack Neary, Josh Stein and many others.

Use this resource as often as you like. But be respectful. After all they are busy folks.

Check the complete list of current Creative Directors who are offering reviews. Check back to see regular updates.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Diary of a Ceative Director Comes to Advertising Week Toronto

Heidi Ehlers Chats with Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide

If there is one Advertising Week Toronto event that is a "must see" this is it. Mark your calendars for Tuesday January 26th at 12:30pm.

Heidi Ehlers founder of Heidi Consults and in partnership with Applied Arts Magazine present live a two-way conversation with Amir Kassaei Chief Creative Officer of DDB Worldwide as part of Heidi's on going series "Diary of a Creative Director".

This event delivers the opportunity to listen in as Heidi deconstructs the steps and the choices Amir has made during his career leading up to his current post as Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide, a network long admired globally for its creativity.

Amir Kassaei Chief Creative Officer DDB Worldwide
Amir resume includes leading his teams that have won more than 4,000 national and international awards including 140 Cannes Lions in the past five years alone. Without questions he is one the advertising creative leaders.

He was named The Big Won Report’s Top Chief Creative Officer in 2009, and has been one of The Big Won’s Top Chief Creative Officers for each of the last 3 years.

Recently Mr. Kassaei delivered a personal mandate and direction for DDB Worldwide on its plans surrounding award shows. The mandate was a strong message that has received it share of praise and criticism published originally on the Campaign blog. The piece titled "The End of False Recognitions" he notes that, 'Too many of us in the industry have bought into the idea that winning awards is proof of creative effectiveness, so much so that we’re willing to sacrifice our integrity to get them. And in turn that has lessened the integrity of the awards themselves". Give the piece a read. It will make for a great Q&A.

Ms. Ehlers debut "Diary of a Creative Director" in 2005 and over the past 10 years has featured numerous creative luminaries, including Alex Bogusky, Susan Credle, David Droga, Jeff Goodby, Gerry Graf, Tony Granger, Tor Myhren & Marcello Serpa. Each interview has strived to ask pointed questions and receive starkly candid answers from creative leaders whose career paths are truly aspirational. Do they think differently about those careers than most of us do about our own? What do they believe are the greatest keys to their success, and what hinders the success of others? What questions do they want answered when they are considering a move? How do they know when it’s time to change jobs? Can you ‘make it’ just by ‘having the book’?

Look forward to seeing you all there.

To book your seat for this event follow this link for tickets.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Got Balls? "Diary of a Creative Director' with Tor Myhren

To all NYC area advertising peeps and students Art Directors Club and Heidi Consults are presenting "Diary of a Creative Director' with Tor Myhren.

Heidi Ehlers will chat with Tor Myhren who is the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer for Grey Global Network and President of Grey New York. he will deconstruct his career steps and choices and what he did to transform, revilatize and change the entire culture of the Grey network, one that brought home an astounding 113 Cannes Lions this past June. 
To say that Tor Myhren has balls is an understatement. He joined Grey New York, in 2007 as Chief Creative Officer transform the once lackluster agency into a global creative hotbed whose name was once fitting of the work it produced. Under his tenure the agency has produced award winning work for legacy brands like the NFL and Canon, as well as pop culture hits for DirecTV and ETrade.
This captivating event will be held at the ADC Gallery on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 at 5:30pm

To read more on Heidi Ehler check out one of my Best of The View From an Adguy from 2010. 

Tickets and more info at

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


My way of "paying forward" while fighting the good fight.


I had an idea to "pay it forward' on my journey to better health and strength.

Those close to me and a few others have known that I have been fighting the good fight for the past 15 months. I started to workout on the suggestion of one of my doctors to assist me in recovery and building my immune system's ability to work with my meds.

It started with folks noticing and commenting on my selection of t-shirts that I wore for my workout routine... from the Grateful Dead, a few baseball team t-shirts and finally my StrawberryFrog t-shirt. Then it hit me. I learned from Scott Goodson the agency founder that it doesn't take much to start a movement. After wearing my Butler Bros t-shirt I got a few more messages... then I knew I had found my way to "pay it forward":
"Send me your agencies t-shirt and I'll wear it in one of my workouts, take a photo, post it and donate $10 to Prostate Cancer Canada".
When I started my routine I was walking the treadmill "mile" and completing it in 18min 30sec... today 45 days later I am clocking in that mile on an average on 14 minutes and increased the routine to two miles and sometimes adding an extra half mile.

I am so grateful to be able to do this with strength and positivity.

With a few other agency shirts in my closest... I wore a StrawberryFrog, TaxiNYC, Butler Brothers and Juniper Park shirt. That's 4 agencies for $40.00 in week one to kick things off.

This week I have started to call out my alumni, friends and colleagues to join my challenge and they are stepping up to help out.

So please help me pay it forward and support my effort. Email me if you want to participate and I'll give the details. Deadline is in mid-October.

I am still an XXL. Grey or Heather colors work best to show my pain and sweat! 

If you want to donate directly to Prostate Cancer Canada, follow this link: #ProstateCancer Canada

Special thanks to David Barbuto for designing my banner.

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