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The Creative Process Illustrated: How Advertising's Big Ideas Are Born Paperback – September 2, 2010
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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About the Author
Glenn Griffin teaches courses in creativity and portfolio development and leads the Method Creative program at Southern Methodist University's Temerlin Advertising Institute in Dallas, Texas. His research has appeared in the Journal of Adver
Top Customer Reviews
One thing you'll learn is that the creative process, as described by James Webb Young in his 1965 book A Technique for Producing Ideas, is the same for all the people who contributed to The Creative Process Illustrated. They all just quote Young in illustrated format, using fish or networks or ink blots, and some of them don't even seem aware that they're using Young's technique at all. This was probably the most profound insight in this book.
In short, The Creative Process Illustrated is the long scenic route through Young's technique. Young's book is the shortcut. Some people like long, scenic drives, and others don't. If you're in doubt, get both books and go from there.
Griffin and Morrison don't try to teach you how to be creative. And they shouldn't - creative advertising isn't a science that can mastered with empirical knowledge. Instead, they take a fresh approach and observe how industry gurus get the job done.
Griffin provides insights from some 30 odd professionals in the field. This isn't another best of book that lets creative examples run the show. Instead, this book provides fresh focus on accomplished practitioners and their creative processes. Why? Well personally I feel anyone can Google and find thousands of great portfolios. If you're looking examples of creative work, they're not hard to find. What you will not find in a portfolio is candid discussion on that artist got the job done.
What makes the light bulb go off? What ignites good creative? I feel there is no answer to this question. What sparks the most creative of people? This answer can be found time and again in "The Creative Process Illustrated."
In the knitting world, E. Zimmerman taught me to calculate the value of a book of knitting patterns by the cost of the book divided by the number of patterns I would actually knit. Applying that math to The Creative Process, Illustrated yields 35 pages of fabulous information, and 35 interesting portraits. At the cover price, that works out to somewhat less than $0.71 per useful-to-me page. I think it's a pretty good value, and of course, you can get the book for less than the MSRP.
Unfortunately, some of the illustrations are reproduced at a size that's too small for my old eyes to read comfortably. Perhaps that's ok. They're not really intended to be read, exactly, as much as "looked at."
Maybe if I were an advertising professional, I would have found the text--both intro, about the process of teaching advertising students, middle--about the contributors (feels like RFP bio material), and end--different slices through the creative process as presented by the contributors--more engaging. As it is, I bought the book for the illustrations, and secondarily for the portraits. Skimmed the text to find it not very helpful, and likely won't look at it again. Would have loved more illustrations, printed on a bigger spread.
In many other creative fields, ideas are easy, and implementation / execution is the hard part. It would appear that in professional advertising, it's the "generating ideas on demand" part that's harder, or at least, more mysterious. While there are one or two specific approaches I may try out for myself, most of the value for me is in reinforcement of the huge amount of mystery behind good ideas. It is possible to fertilize and care for the field, certainly--but the eventual harvest is almost always a surprise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Want to know some of the industry's leading best practices .. grab this book and a cup of Joe ... very interesting.Published 20 months ago by Marcie Lark