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Visual Designer (UI light) Job Description

Visual Designer

The Visual Designer (VD) designs and grows a client's brand with the agency on an ongoing and project basis. They work on the day-to-day agency creative efforts on behalf of the client’s product and/or service on assigned accounts. In this role, the VD insures that the agency provides:

  • Sound and responsible marketing counseling and planning.
  • Conceptual visual creation of ideas spanning all areas of integrated communication, branding and interactive programs.
  • Proper and innovative execution of work in all areas on schedule.
  • Deliver a consistently superior creative product.
  • Innovative solutions and experiences.

The Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts, Media Arts, Interaction Design or equivalent education and experience. 
  • The ideal candidate will have 5 or more years of broad visual and interactive design experience, including experience in both consumer and digital work. 
  • Proven experience in interactive/mobile/web and visual design.
  • Interest in and aptitude for creative business and marketing solutions
  • Knowledge of web application design and build
  • Experience in Integrated marketing, branding and visual design.
  • Will make fun of my design skills and user experience background
  • Self motivated and willing to expand knowledge
  • Ability to self-manage while managing assigned teams and projects.
  • Experience with print and digital production
  • Capability to work on simultaneous projects and meet tight deadlines.
  • Familiarity with  HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
  • Experience with UX/UI, IA, motion graphics, & web design.
  • Knowledge of animation and/or video editing software such as After Effects, Flash, etc
  • Familiarity with game design, storyboarding, creating prototypes (prototyping software tools).
  • Comfortable with short development cycles and flexible with shifting priorities.
  • Illustration and drawing skills preferred.

The VD reports to a HD. As assigned, the VD has overall responsibility for designing the client’s creative design effort. Within the agency, the VD is a visual design leader for the client and works closely with all agency personnel in developing and executing deliverables. The VD may direct client contact with assigned agency clients. Must be an excellent pitch person, with great communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties

The VD has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating

  • Develop workable budgets, work plans and realistic timetables.
  • Collaborates with the HD, Head of Account Services, President, Head of Strategy and Head of Digital, on preparation of marketing recommendations, visual design strategies and actions for the client.
  • Reviews, analyzes and evaluates the following, relative to the client’s needs and objectives: visual media output, creative output, research reports and client data.
  • Demonstrate ability to recognize upcoming opportunities and threats to their projects.
  • Defining visual design scope, works with peers in the creation of project specifications and time plans.

Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing

  • Provides visual design leadership within the agency on behalf of the client.
  • Monitors all budget, research and design related activity to their individual projects.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow.
  • Educating clients on visual design and a track record of creating awesome work.
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working

Project & Product Management

  • Can self manage design projects from concept to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provide and maintain projects status - liaising with development teams, designers and staff to provide accurate updates of project statuses
  • Project quality assurance - testing and review of output, reviewing outputted deliverables against scope
  • Understands: visual design, Ux, UI, branding, positioning development, marketing plans, manufacturing or development needs, timeline and roadmap planning, stats analysis and reporting.

Creative Development

  • Strong visual approach for video, interactive and user journey experience with proven skills in interaction design, brand and campaign concepting and execution.
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Able to decipher complex communication briefs and objectives into intelligent design and media / technology solutions. - storyteller with the ability to command a room and build strong client relationships.
  • Previous cross discipline experience that covers interactive / experiential design, creative media arts, immersive and reactive environments and narrative storytelling for multi-sensory physical experiences.
  • Management and mentoring of junior designers. Able to concept and translate a complex technology driven idea to action and drive team to successful execution.
  • Experience with both print and digital production.

Design Director (Integrated environment)

Head of Design / Design Director

The Head of Design (HD) maintains and grows our client's brand with The agency on an ongoing and project basis. They direct and coordinate the day-to-day agency creative efforts on behalf of the client’s product and/or service on assigned accounts. In this role, the HD insures that the agency provides:

  • Sound and responsible marketing counseling and planning.
  • Conceptual visual creation of ideas spanning all areas of integrated communication, branding and interactive programs.
  • Proper and innovative execution of work in all areas on schedule.
  • Deliver a consistently superior creative product.
  • Innovative solutions and experiences.

The Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts, Media Arts, Interaction Design or equivalent education and experience. 
  • The ideal candidate will have 10-15 or more years of broad visual and interactive design and creative management experience, including experience in both consumer and digital. 
  • She / he must have experience leading cross-discipline teams. 
  • Interest in and aptitude for creative business and marketing solutions
  • Knowledge of web application design and build
  • Experience in Integrated marketing, branding and visual design.
  • Will make fun of my design skills and user experience background.
  • Well versed in building visual campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Great client-facing experience.
  • Great creative management abilities
  • Self motivated and willing to expand knowledge
  • Ability to self-manage while managing assigned teams and projects.

The Director position requires ongoing and in-depth interactions with the following:

  1. Internal:  The HD reports to the ECD. As assigned, the HD has overall responsibility for leading the client’s  creative design effort. Within the agency, the HD is a thought leader for the client and works closely with all agency personnel in developing and executing deliverables.
  2. External:  The HD will have direct client contact with assigned agency clients. Must be an excellent pitch person, with great written and oral communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties

The HD has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating

  • Develop workable budgets, work plans and realistic timetables.
  • Collaborates with the ECD, Head of Account Services, President, Head of Strategy and Head of Digital, on preparation of marketing recommendations, strategies and actions for the client.
  • Reviews, analyzes and evaluates the following, relative to the client’s needs and objectives: media output, creative output, research reports and client data.
  • Provide client platform / business updates on a regular basis to demonstrate upcoming opportunities and threats to their business
  • Defining creative design scope, works with peers in the creation of project specifications and time plans.

Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing

  • Provides creative design leadership within the agency on behalf of the client.
  • Monitors all budget, research and design related activity.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow.
  • Educating clients and a track record of creating awesome work.
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working

Project & Product Management

  • Co-manages design projects from concept to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provide and maintain projects status - liaising with development teams, designers and commercial staff to provide accurate updates of project statuses
  • Project quality assurance - testing and review of output, reviewing outputted deliverables against scope
  • Understands: visual design, Ux, UI, branding, positioning development, marketing plans, manufacturing or development needs, timeline and roadmap planning, stats analysis and reporting.

Creative Development

  • Strong visual approach for interactive, brand, video, interactive and user journey experience with proven skills in interaction design, brand and campaign concepting and execution.
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Able to decipher complex communication briefs and objectives into intelligent design and media / technology solutions. - Master storyteller with the ability to command a room and build strong client relationships.
  • Previous cross discipline experience that covers interactive / experiential design, creative media arts, immersive and reactive environments and narrative storytelling for multi-sensory physical experiences.
  • Management and mentoring of design team. Able to concept and translate a complex technology driven idea to action and drive team to successful execution.

Art Director - Job Description

Art Director

The Art Director (AD) maintains and grows a client's brand with the agency on an ongoing and project basis. They execute the day-to-day agency creative efforts on behalf of the client’s product and/or service on assigned accounts, typically working closely with other team members. In this role, the AD insures that the agency provides:

  • Sound and responsible marketing counseling and planning.
  • Conceptual creation of ideas spanning all areas of integrated communication, branding and interactive programs.
  • Proper and innovative execution of work in all areas on schedule.
  • Deliver a consistently superior creative product.
  • Innovative solutions and experiences.

The Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts, Media Arts, Interaction Design or equivalent education and experience. 
  • The ideal candidate will have 5 or more years of experience as an Art Director.
  • Interest in and aptitude for creative business and marketing solutions
  • Knowledge of web application design and build
  • Experience in Integrated marketing / interactive and broadcast work.
  • Will hate my spacing and bullet use.
  • Well versed in planning campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Great client-facing experience.
  • A portfolio comprised of campaign, e-commerce, experiential and portal works for major brands. 
  • Strong concept, presentation and client-facing skills
  • 3D/motion sensibility, broadcast experience.
  • Creation of style-guides
  • Well versed in web technologies, best practices, emerging trends in media and marketing
  • Experience in pitch-work
  • Self motivated and willing to expand knowledge

The ADs position requires ongoing and in-depth interactions with the following:

  1. Internal:  The AD reports to the ECD. As assigned, the AD has overall responsibility for creating conceptual and art direction for the client creative effort. Within the agency, the AD works closely with all agency personnel in developing and executing deliverables.
  2. External:  The AD will have direct client contact with assigned agency clients. Must be an excellent pitch person, with great written and oral communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties

The AD has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating

  • Develop workable budgets, work plans and realistic timetables.
  • Collaborates with other creatives, design, broadcast, print or interactive production on preparation of marketing concepts and work for the client.
  • Provide client platform / business updates on a regular basis to demonstrate upcoming opportunities and threats to their business. Understands best practices.
  • Kills it in creating work with peers.

Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing

  • Provides art direction leadership within the agency on behalf of the client.
  • Monitors his own budget, research and creative activity.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow.
  • Educating clients and a track record of creating awesome work.
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working

Project & Product Management

  • Completes client projects, involved with client projects from start to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provides status - liaising with development teams, designers and commercial staff to provide accurate updates of project statuses.
  • Project quality assurance - testing and review of output, reviewing outputted deliverables against scope

Creative Development

  • Strong creative approach for video, interactive and user journey experience with proven skills in interaction design, brand and campaign concepting and execution.
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Able to decipher complex communication briefs and objectives into intelligent design/copy and media / technology solutions. - storyteller.
  • Previous cross discipline experience that covers interactive / experiential design, creative media arts, immersive and reactive environments and narrative storytelling for multi-sensory physical experiences.
  • Mentoring of any junior creative team members. Able to concept and translate a complex technology driven idea to action and drive team to successful execution.
  • Directs art creation, i.e. photoshoots, etc.

ECD - (copy/conceptual version) - Job Description

The ECD does a lot. In this version of a JD, he may direct other CDs, teams or creative areas. 

The Executive Creative Director (ECD) maintains and grows the client's business with the new business agency team on an ongoing basis. They direct and coordinate the day-to-day agency creative efforts on behalf of the client’s product and/or service on assigned accounts. In this role, the ECD insures that the agency provides:

  • Sound and responsible marketing counseling and planning.
  • Conceptual creation of ideas spanning all areas of integrated communication, branding and interactive programs.
  • Proper and innovative execution of work in all areas on schedule.
  • Deliver a consistently superior creative product.
  • Innovative solutions and experiences.

The Requirements (This can vary greatly)

  • Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts, Media Arts,Journalism, Interaction Design or equivalent education and experience. The ideal candidate will have 10-15 or more years of broad creative and management experience, including experience in both corporate, consumer and digital. She / he must have experience leading cross-discipline teams. 
  • Interest in and aptitude for creative business and marketing solutions
  • Knowledge of (core agency creative tactics/strategy offerings)
  • Experience in Integrated marketing.
  • Will write better than me.
  • Well versed in planning campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Great client-facing experience.
  • Great creative management abilities
  • Self motivated and willing to expand knowledge
  • Ability to self-manage while managing assigned teams and projects.

The ECDs position requires ongoing and in-depth interactions with the following:

The ECD reports to the CEO. As assigned, the ECD has overall responsibility for leading the client creative effort. Within the agency, the ECD is a thought leader for the client and works closely with all agency personnel in developing and executing deliverables. The ECD will have direct client contact with assigned agency clients. Must be an excellent pitch person, with great written and oral communication skills.

Responsibilities and Duties

The ECD has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating

  • Develop workable budgets, work plans and realistic timetables. 
  • Collaborates with members of the new business team, such as, Head of Account Services, Head of New Business, President and Head of Strategy, on preparation of marketing recommendations, strategies and actions for the client.
  • Reviews, analyzes and evaluates the following, relative to the client’s needs and objectives: media output, creative output, research reports and client data.
  • Provide client platform / business updates on a regular basis to demonstrate upcoming opportunities and threats to their business
  • Defining creative scope works with peers in the creation of project specifications and time plans.

Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing

  • Provides creative leadership within the agency on behalf of the client.
  • Monitors all budget, research and creative activity.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow.
  • Educating clients and a track record of creating awesome work.
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working

Project & Product Management

  • Manage client projects, involved with client projects from start to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provide and maintain projects status - liaising with development teams, designers and commercial staff to provide accurate updates of project statuses
  • Project quality assurance - testing and review of output, reviewing outputted deliverables against scope
  • Understands: positioning development, marketing plans, manufacturing or development needs, timeline and roadmap planning, stats analysis and reporting.

Creative Development

  • Strong creative approach for video, interactive and user journey experience with proven skills in interaction design, brand and campaign concepting and execution.
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Able to decipher complex communication briefs and objectives into intelligent design/copy and media / technology solutions. - Master storyteller with the ability to command a room and build strong client relationships.
  • Previous cross discipline experience that covers interactive / experiential design, creative media arts, social, broadcast, immersive and reactive environments and narrative storytelling for multi-sensory physical experiences.
  • Management and mentoring of creative team. Able to concept and translate a complex technology driven idea to action and drive team to successful execution.

The Creative Brief - An exercise in soft-values between agency and client.

If you do a quick google search on creative briefs, you’ll find hundreds of articles online. I think this is a testament to how hard it is to write a good brief, since the development of the brief, is as much a part of the creative process as thinking of ideas to answer the brief itself. The creative brief is meant to be the culmination of all the research and strategy completed, an understand of the client’s business, an understanding of the audience and a framing of the goal of the communication. But a good creative brief is also meant to spark inspiration while guiding your team through the constraints of objectives, how and where you may engage, and hypothetically how much time and budget is suppose to be spent. 

It’s a tall order to create a good brief (and one that is brief). It is no wonder that many briefs, to put it mildly — suck.

We expect clients really do want to engage agencies for their creativity and innovation, as well as the tactical application of strategy. However, sometimes clients get more caught up in a tactical approach to defining projects (writing a 12 page essay chock full of business objectives and must haves) than actually engaging agencies to do what they do best – think. 

Writing a real creative brief requires a partnership between agency and client, business and creatives. It requires discovery. It also shouldn’t consume the entire ideation phase of a project just to write what you are going to do.

  • A brief is suppose to be brief.
  • The brief is the what to be done. The creative is the how.
  • A brief defines the creative need and scope for a particular project engagement. 
  • A brief is one the most important parts of the creative process.
  • Understanding what your client finds important, creates understanding in what your client values.

How you brief a team also determines what you get back. (Johnstone 2006) The importance of the brief in creative development is considered so vital to the effectiveness of the creative being generated, that research has identified that the most creative work (that an agency outputs) goes to clients (who have written or approved of briefs that are) open to exploring ideas. (Koslow et al 2006) “The difference between a design brief with just the right level of constraint and one that is overly vague or overly restrictive can be the difference between a team on fire with breakthrough ideas and one that delivers a tired reworking of existing ones.” (Brown 2009)

While the questions that are often asked on the creative brief have changed throughout the years, the reasoning for the creation of a brief remains the same; 

What is the problem that needs to be solved or the challenge that needs to be overcome?

By answering this question, you will always save time and money – by giving clarity, constraints and defining goals. A good brief leads to better creative work, and it makes remuneration fairer, by setting goals. (Johnstone 2006) Fundamentally, writing a creative brief should be considered a part of the discovery phase, as both marketer and creative agency work together to answer the questions posed on the brief to help develop both discovery, insights and ultimately the role of the communication. The brief is also supported and built by the results of research, observations, and previous experimentation or work. While the brief itself is not meant to answer the problem (or project) posed, the information it contains helps to support further discovery which leads to the formation of associational thinking, resulting in the creation of innovative business or creative ideas. (Clayton et al 2011) 

The creative brief is seen as one of the top ways marketers can have an impact on agency creativity, regardless of budget. Indeed, the brief is seen as often having a larger impact on creativity than the size of a budget. (Ehrenberg et al 2002) A brief should also never be cut and paste, there are always new learnings to be had. While there is no one brief that can fit all creative projects, the end goal of a brief is to make it as complete and useful as possible. (Philips 2004) It is the balance between being clear about what is needed, having relevant information and written in a way that inspires additional discovery and creativity that make briefs effective. (Johnstone 2006).

The creative brief is meant to answer a set of questions that form the constraints of the creative project framed in a way that meets the projects objectives. 

They don’t always ask the same questions either. The end objective, will always twist the way the basic questions of a brief are asked. For example is the objective of the project to persuade or increase awareness or even general publicity?

The basic questions on a brief are:

Where are we now? This would include the current beliefs and perceptions about a brand, product or service. This may also reveal specific insights in how we can motivate people to takt the action the brief desires.

Where do we want to be? This would be the desired change of belief, perception, or creating awareness around a new belief. This could also include what action do you want people to take.

What are we doing to get there? How do we motivate people to take action, or what connection can we make in order to promote a change in a belief. How can we challenge conventions to gain or provoke attention. What’s the big idea (or driving idea for the brand that will act as a catalyst for change?

Who do we need to talk to? This would include the target audience(s) or community. From demographics to psychographics, there age and income to interests, lifestyles and habits. We can also ask, where do we need to engage people, how and in what context.

How will we know when we arrived? This defines the desired outcome of what we are going to do, make or build. 

These questions along with others, can help provide the logical, who, what, when/where and why thinking process for the development of a brief. (Johnstone 2006). However, the format in which these questions are asked need to be focused on creative objectives, rather than business objectives. This framing of creative objectives is important to the success of a project, often the disconnect between business objectives and creative objectives can result in a disconnect between agency and client. 

The creative brief is a creative document to brief a creative team.

As we said before, the creative brief is a big link between the client and creative team. It can also set the tone for how the client and agency will work effectively together. (Shelford et al 2003) It also can set up the work platform, set expectations and how the end results will be judged. (Langwost 2004) A big problem with most creative briefs is that they either don’t address the underlying marketing need, or are too limited in scope. Vagueness can be both good and bad. 

It can be helpful to think of a creative brief as “like a scientific hypothesis, the brief is a set of mental constraints that gives the project team a framework from which to begin, benchmarks by which they can measure progress, and a set of objectives to be realized: price point, available technology, market segment, and so on.” (Brown 2009) 

This is why many agencies believe in “co-ownership” of the brief with the client. (Philips 2004). Together, as project stakeholders, the creative brief translates the business objectives, and is used to communicate the main objectives and describe the major deliverables of a project, including significant information and deadlines. (Shelford et al 2003)

Many agencies engage their strategic planning department (or competency) as the main lead for developing the discovery portion for the design brief. The strategy team on either the client or agency side may provide key information and research, such as competitive reviews, target audience analysis, company portfolio review, category review, and other research data in order to help support the development of the brief. 

In addition, the strategic planning process can help to uncover insights, your target audience, make sense of analytics and data, as well as form a point-of-view on where you need to engage. The strategic process also doesn’t work in a vacuum. Great strategic development is very much a creative process, in the way that it utilizes and makes sense of the information it gathers and shares. This is why having strategic thinking in place is important and valued. If marketers do not work with the agency in partnership to develop the brief, or provide poor information or misleading information, or provide a brief that has too little or too many constraints or is unwilling to make changes to a brief, they may find the agency as an unwilling partner once the project commences. (Koslow et al 2006) 

A design brief is meant to be road map that the creatives will follow, that define in (very, very broad) steps that will be taken from the inception of the project to its completion. Thus, design briefs must include a considerable amount of both business strategy and design strategy developed by both an agency and client in order to have buy-in by both sides. (Philips 2004) The outcome of which is the single driving idea, the one thing you are going to say or do in regards to the goal of the project. Once the creative brief is developed and approved, the discovery process for the project itself will begin. It is very important that everyone is in agreement on all the parameters of the brief, especially on the creative side, and especially on that one thing the brief is suppose to accomplish. Getting the creative team on board is very key. “The willing and even enthusiastic acceptance of competing constraints is the foundation of design thinking. The first stage of the design process is often about discovering which constraints are important and establishing a framework for evaluating them.”(Brown 2009) When there is a lack of enthusiasm and a lack of will to work on the project, creativity suffers.

However, the brief in reality is meant to spark ideas and to inspire. Certainly, ideas can be what we call “on brief,” and other ideas can be born of other information contained in the brief, and other ideas can be born of the brief. This is what the creative process is all about. This is why a projects constraints have to be supportive of the creative process and not work against it. When we begin to develop ideas, we often make leaps. These leaps can be positive and lead to ideas where the project constraints need to be stretched. Leaps can happen where our creative discovery process leads us to re-examine and possibly rethink a brief or the project. Leaps can also make us circle around improving other ideas. We can doubt the conventional thinking at many stages during the creative process, including what is presented in the brief. What we can’t do is lose sight of the consumer, our audience and where we need to properly engage them.

Certainly, the thinking of what brand advertising is suppose to accomplish has evolved over the years, from a persuasive model to publicity to salience to awareness (Ehrenberg et al 2002) to storytelling. As the creation of a creative brief is often tied to an advertising agency’s strategic process, what questions are asked on a creative brief are often different from one agency to the next. In reality, the who, what why, where and when is very similar, but the end goal of the assignment is skewed on briefs to reflect the varied thinking of creative agencies and the model (persuasive versus awareness, storytelling) that the agency follows and believes in.

In a way, the creative brief, is perhaps as old as the first commissioned piece of art. Someone had an idea, asked for something to be made, and the artist and client agreed on the objective and the project started. Positioning is a business strategy, that uses research to determine where a product should fit in to the general market in the mind of the target audience. (Philips 2004). A brand position is part of the thinking that goes on about a brand or product and has a direct influence in developing the creative brief.

As the theory and goal of advertising evolved from presenting facts to the development of insights and positioning, the idea that advertising is meant solely to increase sales wained. Advertising may at times be followed by a sales increase, but it is often short-lived. (Ehrenberg et al 2002). Advertising theory, and it’s goals and objective considerations have evolved over recent years. Three key terms can be considered as part of the recent modern goals of advertising; Publicity, Persuasion, and Salience. (Ehrenberg 2002).

Persuasion is to give someone a reason or incentive to change their thinking, how they feel and perhaps what they do. (Ehrenberg 2002) While many people believe that advertising is primarily a persuasive function, many marketers find that brand advertising that is persuasive is difficult to achieve. (Ehrenberg 2002) Publicity in advertising seeks to increase how consumers feel, think, and remember something about the brand, rather than trying to persuade consumers to change what they feel about the brand. (Ehrenberg 2002) Salience is our sense about the brand coming to mind in personally relevant choice situations. While increasing awareness is important to all three of these modern terms. Increasing salience is the goal of increasing a brand’s strength as part of one’s broader consideration set, for a brand that you might buy or use now or in the future. (Ehrenberg 2002).

In recent year’s, the term salience has been replaced with the concept of stickiness or contagious, making something catch on in a social sharing way, (Berger 2013) as well as the concept of telling and weaving a brand’s story through long-term advertising, content development and branding. The concept of the development of a brand story can also be an objective goal. “When you write a creative brief, you're not filling out a form. You're crafting the story of your product and its reason to exist and thrive in the world.” (Margulies 2009) All of these theories and goals influence the development and point of view of the creative brief. As we look at these viewpoints we can imagine who agencies often develop their own theories (that may skew one way or have a systems approach to their thinking). If you briefed a few different agencies on the same project,  you may get very different creative results. In reality, there is no one brief, there is no one brief that all agencies follow, there is no one brief that all projects follow.

For this reason along, this is why I stress that the development of the creative brief should be done in partnership – especially since these goal of communication views can skew the start of the research phase in discovery. And since the brief is the starting off point for the creative discovery phase, for collecting information, studying or observing the target audience, analyzing information and sharing it, it needs to be developed together. (Stone 2010) The end goal of a creative brief is the creation of an objective strategic tool that is agreed and acted upon, that contains an overview of the project, what the drivers are for what needs to be achieved, who the audience is and who the competitors are, what should the audience take away and other project oriented information. (Stone 2010) That strategic viewpoint, if the goal is to publicize, persuade, increase awareness or salience, stickiness, or sharing of story can effect the development of the questions asked as well as the brief itself. Above all, the creative brief leads the creative energy and focuses it. “The brief should have taken all the relative information, funneled it to you, but not give you any answers, so that you can start working.” (Langwost 2004) 

One of the downsides to a written brief is that many people find the prospect of writing a brief a big challenge. (2009) “Too often, the creative brief is joylessly “filled out” as if it were the worksheet to an IRS 1040 Schedule C.” (Margulies 2009) If you are having problems with the brief, concentrate first on answering the question, why are we doing the project? If you can answer that question, then the rest will be easier. If you are really, honestly stuck, that means your are attempting to write the brief alone. Briefs that are developed without face-to-face interaction can be problematic. Research shows that when verbal briefings accompany a written briefing, there is increased trust. (Philips 2004). Building a brief together helps to build trust between the client and the agency. As we know, trust is an important factor to the success of creativity and innovation. (Rosenfeld & Wilhelmi 2011) 

Remember, while your brief is not a work order. the creative brief is often the first and only creatively-oriented written rules of engagement between the client and agency team. The brief and in-person briefing helps to establish trust by putting these rules (written and unwritten in place) for the creation, generation and brainstorming phase. Trust is also established by agreeing on the strategic focus of the brief, determining objectives and the  establishment of common principles and values. In person meetings can help get everyone on the same page or address differences in values. An in-person briefing can also detail out (or negotiate) how the project is going to be evaluated by the key stakeholders. When agencies and clients work together as partners, the creative output can be considered a part of the organizational response to the values and principles set forth by the key stakeholders. (Rosenfeld & Wilhelmi 2011)

In-person meetings also help improve the quality of the work by creating temporary “meeting of minds,” where agencies can also seek to develop trust by setting measurements, benchmarking and standard practices (which includes brief development) that are mutual agreed upon. (Philips 2004). Approval processes for the brief should also be aligned with the activities of both the client and the agency. (Philips 2004) There is nothing worse than spending time developing the brief together, and then having it killed by committee.

A case can also be made for the development of a more free-form approach to building the questions on a creative brief. As we noted earlier, there are many different strategic goal differences in regards to the theory of what advertising is meant to accomplish. We also noted that there is consensus that “no one brief fits all.”

I propose that creative brief creation can benefit from an initial project exercise between client and agency. The start of an engagement is the time to establish and defend an agency’s strategic thinking, by looking at a broader selection of questions, that show a variety of thinking and values between the advertising agency and the client. As they work together in partnership, both agency and client can begin to develop a sense of which values are shared and where they differ. If you have an established way of doing your brief, this is also the time to share your thinking and values, by walking through the process in a bit more detail than you normally would. Establishing a sense of shared soft-values between the larger team, means that as the relationship grows, your strategic point-of-views get heard by this gained trust between the key stakeholders and the external organization. 

For example, which of these questions make more sense to you?

Persuasion view: What value can we add that would make people change brands?

Publicity view: What is the opportunity to achieve something really impactful?

Salience view: What is the most relevant and differentiating idea that will surprise consumers or challenge their current thinking of the brand?

Storytelling view: What is the narrative we want to tell about our brand that builds on our story?

Stickiness view: What content can we develop that people are going to want and share that best states what our brand is about?

Looking at your set of questions through the lens of the goal of communication in general is an excellent way of building your own set of questions that match your strategic views.

A great creative brief is one that inspires, is clear, sticks to one goal, has supportive constraints, is brief and inspires others to take on the project. Tom Brown notes that there are, “three overlapping criteria for successful ideas that we can apply directly to the development of a creative brief: feasibility (what is functionally possible within the foreseeable future); viability (what is likely to become part of a sustainable business model); and desirability (what makes sense to people and for people). A competent designer will resolve each of these three constraints, but a design thinker will bring them into a harmonious balance.” (Brown 2009) The problem posed by a creative brief should also be thought of as an achievable project, not an open ended problem, by working together to build a brief, both the client and the agency learn to navigate between constraints in creative ways since they have shifted their thinking from problem to project. (Brown 2009) A creative brief therefore needs to aligned with that thinking. Agencies need to be allowed to be innovative and creative, to many or too little constrictions can result in less than desirable results. 

Lastly, the creative team also needs the time to take in and to digest the information in order to filter it. (Langwost 2004) All this alignment and trust building means nothing, if your creatives don’t have a chance to sit and think and create.

References

Berger, J. (2013). Contagious : why things catch on. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Brown, T (2009). Change by Design. HarperCollins, 293-295, 242-244.

Clayton, C., Dyer, J., Gregersen, H. (2011). The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. Harvard Business Review Press. 

Ehrenberg, A., Barnard, N., Kennedy, R., & Bloom, H. (2002). Brand Advertising as Creative Publicity. Journal Of Advertising Research, 42(4), 7-18.

Fog, K., Budtz, C., Munch, P., Blanchette, S., & SpringerLink (2010). Storytelling: Branding in practice Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Golembewski, M., & Selby, M. (2010). Ideation decks: A card-based design ideation tool. Paper presented at the 89-92.

Ibach, H. (2009). How to write an inspired creative brief. (Vol. 2009). Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.

Johnstone, S., (2006) Briefing an Agency. IPA Retrieved, November 15, 2013. http://www.ipa.co.uk/document/briefing-an-agency-best-practice-guide

Koslow, S., Sheila, L. S., & Edward, A. R. (2006). Do marketers get the advertising they need or the advertising they deserve? Agency views of how clients influence creativity. Journal of Advertising, 35(3), 81-101.

Langwost, R. (2004). How to catch the big idea : the strategies of the top-creatives. Erlangen Germany Frankfurt: Publicis Corp. Pub. Idea Management Institute, 122.

Lesya Lysyj. (2005). Communicating-one client's perspective. Marketing, 110(39), 26.

Lucero, A., & Arrasvuori, J. (2010). PLEX cards: A source of inspiration when designing for playfulness. Paper presented at the 28-37.

Marc Nohr. (2006). Why do clients buy bad creative? Marketing Direct, 22.

Margulies, H. (2009). Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/small-agency-diary/creative-briefs-simple/136711/

Nina R., Sven F., (2007) Structural and Construction Engineering, Department of Civil,Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, & Construction Engineering. Transforming strategic briefing into project briefs: A case study about client and contractor collaboration. Facilities, 25(5/6), 185-202.

Philips, P. (2004). Creating the perfect design brief. New York, New York: Allworth Press.

Paul-Mark Rendon. (2006). Sparkling briefs. Marketing, 111(33), 6.

Preparing an Advertising Brief. (2009). In BUSINESS: The Ultimate Resource. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/ultimatebusiness/preparing_an_advertising_brief

A brief for the creative brief. (2010). Indian Express.

Peter Figueredo. (2005). Good brief. North American Publishing Company.

James Curtis. (2000). Can marketers be creative? Haymarket Business Publications Ltd.

Riezebos, H. J., Grinten, J. v. d., & ebrary, I. (2012). Positioning the brand: An inside-out approach Routledge.

Rosenfeld, Robert B.; Wilhelmi, Gary J. (2011-12-08). The Invisible Element: A Practical Guide for the Human Dynamics of Innovation. Innovatus Press.

Shelford, T. & Remillard, G. (2003). Real Web project management : case studies and best practices from the trenches. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 21.

Stone, T. (2010). Managing the design process--concept development : an essential manual for the working designer. Beverly, Mass: Rockport Publishers.

Tungate, M., & ebrary, I. (2013). Adland: A global history of advertising Kogan Page Ltd.

Creative Director - Job Description (Simple)

 Creative Director 

The creative director is responsible for developing original creative / design concepts and approaches. They oversee multiple projects through execution and oversee all creative operations for a specific group of accounts. They may oversee the design team (if there is no design director) The creative director also contributes to the development of across the board strategy. They direct the activities of his/her staff to maintain the agency's standards of creative excellence, timeliness, and profitability, while achieving the clients' goals. They inspire collaboration and teamwork. The creative director is also responsible for managing the client relationship for all things related to creative. Resolves functional conflicts through consultation with project team heads. An experienced presenter. Senior-level client contact. An ECD is typically the creative lead for an agency (or agency office location) and would be in charge of other creative directors.

Responsibilities 

  • Develop and deliver thought leadership and creative solutions that strengthen clients’ market distinction and leadership position
  • Responsible for articulating and defending conceptual and directional choices
  • Promote continual creative improvement and actively contribute to a culture of innovation, excellence and accountability 
  • Insures the timely development and execution of plan, campaigns, and projects to assure earnings, growth, and profit goals are achieved.
  • Plans, develops, and defends budget recommendations, work goals, measurements, and training requirements necessary to provide both profitable and quality service to clients.
  • Provides detailed information and cost estimates to assure accurate data on which to plan and develop functional objectives and budgets leading to stable and profitable accounts.
  • An ECD supports and directs other creative directors.
  • Provides leadership/motivation and conveys the vision and values of the agency to staff.
  • Oversees creative consultations with account teams to assure appropriate creative strategies, adequacy/accuracy of input, schedules, budgets, production support, necessary reviews, and client presentations.
  • Trains and supervises assigned staff of writers, junior creatives and art directors; oversees their execution of all creative efforts to insure they are on strategy, on budget, and on schedule.
  • Recommend staffing and compensation changes.
  • Assures the staff adheres to established agency policy/procedures.
  • Maintains external professional relationships to assure the ongoing availability of specialized expertise, gifted freelancers, and reputable studios/producers when their services are required.
  • Participates in the new business efforts (and leads the creative teams new business efforts).

 

 

Copywriter - Job Description (Simple)

 Copywriter 

An experienced writer who is responsible for concepts through finished copy for all assigned projects. Often works as part of a creative team (paired with an art director for example) to achieve the client's objectives through creative imagery and effective message strategies. May supervise others and have client contact. A senior copywriter may manage other copywriters in overall efforts to research, conceptualize, write, proofread and edit original content and digital experiences. A copywriter helps to determine tone, style, structure and voice of editorial content, based on available space, knowledge of editorial principles, aesthetic sense and brand considerations, working directly with Creative Directors, Digital, Brand and Media Strategists, Art Directors, Interactive and Front-end Developers, IA’s, Content Specialists & Designers.

Responsibilities 

  • Works closely with AD, AE, and Production personnel as a team member on assigned accounts to produce effective themes, campaigns, etc.
  • Write, edit, and proof content and copy
  • Work with the team to develop experiences that exceed client goals, carry out the creative vision, and fulfill marketing & strategy's mission
  • Actively seek out and help define new creative possibilities for client engagements, from brand story telling, content, rich media ad units and social media programs, to original video scripts, apps, digital signage, traditional and untraditional media.
  • Assist in leading, developing and growing the copy/content team
  • Assist in communicating and presenting copy to internal teams and clients
  • Maintains consistently high standards of writing which will enhance the agency-client relationship.
  • Helps develop and guide creative ideas based on input from client, AE, and personal research.
  • Monitors the progress of assigned projects through each phase of development, i.e., layout, production, media, and research.
  • Maintains a reasonable library of own reference material relating to assigned clients.
  • Submits copy (depending on work assignments for specific accounts) to the CD for review and comment.
  • Assures accuracy, completeness, and neatness of own copy from initial submission to CD through final copy and type proofs.
  • Meets copy deadlines, or secures advance approval from the AE/CD if additional time is needed.
  • Contributes ideas to generate more client activity beyond normally scheduled projects.
  • Participates in client-agency meetings at the agency, when appropriate.
  • Displays professional courtesy to clients and co-workers; is considerate of their work schedules.
  • On the digital side, Communicate with team leads to coordinate concept, copy, interface, graphic design and navigational structure of project with functional aspects

Measures of Accountability 

  • His/Her creativity contributions and routines contribute to the client's marketing success and agency profitability.
  • His/Her work reflects intelligent thinking, good organization, and accuracy.
  • He/She meets reasonable assignment deadlines with consistent and dependably high levels of performance.
  • Maintains a productive and harmonious relationship with supervisor and other members of the account team.

Art Director - Job Description (Simple)

Art Director

Responsible for the conception, design, and execution of innovative visual materials for all assigned projects. Art directors possess strong conceptual and design skills and are typically paired with a copywriter and may assist a creative director in conceptualizing, designing and creating work. An Art Director is be responsible for creating compelling, insight-driven, customer-focused communications (media agnostic creative) that drive results and enhance a clients’ consumer experience — for both online and offline channels. His/her creative projects will consistently satisfy client's and agency's objectives, both visually and financially. May supervise others and have client contact.

Responsibilities 

  • Create a range of concepts and designs for each project and be able to partner with copywriters to ensure the art direction and visual presentation supports the concept.
  • Responsible for execution of assigned client projects as it pertains to design
  • Use of comprehensive layouts with clear execution of strategy, design and synergy between concepts
  • Work closely with development teams to ensure that recommended visuals/formats can be executed
  • Able to execute own projects from concept through final mockup
  • Responsible for adhering to project budgets and estimates
  • Present work internally and externally
  • Communicate visual designs, motion design, concepts and storyboards through presentations and securing client approval of recommended designs
  • May lead a teams of designers and production artists to execute cross channel and digital work
  • Works with Copywriters, producers and account service people as team on assigned accounts to determine client needs, selling concepts, and strategies.
  • On concept approval, finds or creates the best visualization of the product within budget limits.
  • Chooses and places all visual elements of the project, including type, illustrations, and photographs necessary to produce the intended image.
  • Selects photographers/illustrators/directors from among sources which s/he has developed; and works closely with them, or directs them, to ensure the original concept approved by the client is carried out. (However, the producer also plays a large part in managing the creation of work)
  • Coordinates necessary activities with the Production Manager; i.e., adequate lead times, special requirements, notice of absence from office, etc.
  • Secures approval of layouts and final art from the AE and keeps him/her and the CD aware of pertinent account activity.
  • Is alert to opportunities for increased profitability on assigned accounts.
  • Makes best/prudent use of production and other agency resources to solve client problems.
  • Maintains personal graphic resources, visual data, samples, graphic standards, manuals, etc.
  • Maintains consistently high graphic standards and is aware of new techniques and trends in graphic arts and the interactive world. Disseminates such information to others in the Creative Department.
  • Checks and approves all visual materials through all stages of pre-production and production.
  • Efficiently manages the time and workload of supporting production artists and outside contractors.
  • Meets deadlines, or informs appropriates authority in advance, and obtains extra time in which to complete assignments.
  • Prepares new business presentations work as requested.
  • Maintains accurate records of time and expenses

Measures of Accountability 

  • Projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Relationships with co-workers and suppliers are harmonious and productive.
  • Creative and graphic standards have been maintained or exceeded in all work.
  • Contributions toward clients' marketing objectives and the continuation of the agency's operating standards is maintained at a satisfactory level.


 

The Creative Resource Managers - Job Description Alternate

Here is an alternate Creative Resource Manager Job Description that meshes more in an integrated environment.  Depending on how large your agency is, someone of the responsibilities will differ (often going to HR).

The Role 

As Creative Resource Manager you will manage the resource planning, allocation and scheduling across our creative department, including art directors, designers, copywriters, animators, editors and creative technologists. The Creative Resource Manager is our creative department hub, a great project manager, a talent finder and a leader that ensures projects and teams are properly staffed and run efficiently to meet deliverables. We are looking for someone that has an excellent understanding of each creative’s professional aptitudes and a keen knowledge of timing involved to accomplish assigned tasks. This role will plan for incoming projects and implement resource changes against evolving priorities. In addition to the creative team, you'll work closely with our account team and producers to ensure that creative resources are properly allocated and utilized

The Creative Resources Manager manages our agency’s creative resources at We Are Plus on an ongoing and project basis. They direct and help coordinate the day-to-day agency creative and production efforts. In this role, the Creative Resource Manager insures that the agency maintains:

  • An environment where creativity can happen.
  • Enhance our talent base and manage our talent needs.
  • Support the creative process in a fast paced production environment.
  • A consistently superior creative product.

Major Contacts

The Creative Resources Manager’s (CRM) position requires ongoing and in-depth interactions with the following:

  1. Internal:  The CRM reports to the ECD (although this differs depending on the agency). The CRM works as a partner with the production team in assisting all talent and freelancer needs and bookings. Within the agency, the CRM is the leader/coordinator for all internal agency projects and works closely with all agency personnel in determining project scope, estimating, planning, executing and monitoring assigned projects and deliverables. Oversees and motivates assigned project teams.
  2. External:  The CRM will have direct contact with outside talent and continual build our network of creative and production partners

Responsibilities and Duties

The Creative Resource Manager has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

  1. Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating
  • Works with producers and creative directors to assess talent needs, acts as point of contact to book and confirm talent.
  • Proactively builds on a pre-existing network of contacts.
  • Ability to recognize internal creative needs or project risks.
  • Monitors creative team hours against budgets. 
  • Assists producers in locating all agency talent / freelance needs.
  • Reviews, analyzes and evaluates and vets all creative talent for the agency.
  • Ability to match team members against projects.
  • Determines project risk on an ongoing basis, escalates issues as needed.
  • Evaluate best team makeup for assigned projects.
  • Monitors out of scope requests, elevates issues to initiate additional billing.
  • Manage and resolves resource booking conflicts
  • Manage resourcing forecast spreadsheets for all departments based on input from weekly meetings and the Production Team.
  • Maintain constant knowledge of current and upcoming projects and business development activities as they relate to resourcing.
  • Monitor day to day project activities and resourcing, identifying potential instances of underutilization and actively work with department leads to address and solve those issues
  • Recommend process improvements for Resource Management
  • Responsible for managing overall utilization

Work to resolve any issues regarding under or over allocations of current staff members

  1. Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing
  • Schedules all creative meetings and works with the producers to monitor schedules and project needs.
  • Helps to prepare materials for creative presentations.
  • Manage communication around shifting priorities with key stakeholders.
  • Monitors staffing and resources against assigned projects in order to meet project deadlines and budgets.
  • Act as the team leader on all assigned projects.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow. Escalating exceptions and issues to Director level as required
  • Keeping project status reports up to date
  • Monitoring and enforcing project constraints (schedule / scope / resources)
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working
  • Drive projects to final stages of completion by keeping the team both on track and highly motivated.
  • Manage ECD’s schedules.
  • Run weekly resource meeting and facilitate resourcing issues / conflict resolution with Production Team and appropriate department heads.
  • Arrange weekly meetings with Production and Senior Management Team, to discuss all active programs and potential new business as well as to stay informed of potential issues such as resource and change control matters
  1. Project & Product Management
  • Manage assigned projects, involved with client projects from start to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provide and maintain agency resource status - liaising with development teams, designers and commercial staff to provide accurate updates of resource needs
  • Initiates and leads all appropriate project meetings.
  1. Financial & Administrative
  • Organize and review “new hire” paperwork for employees.
  • Prepare documentation and paperwork for all talent and freelance hires.
  • Track availability of all agency staff members.
  • Track and manage talent database. Manage freelance and contract worker relationships.
  • Manage NDA documentation, while not an HR role, this position does touch on similar HR needs and responsibilities as it relates to hiring employees and freelancers.
  • Assist in managing the production of new business presentations and materials as assigned
  • Works with producers to insure proper billing and invoicing.
  • Reviews WIPs and final billing reports. 
  • Strong business and personal ethics

 

The Creative Resources Manager - Job Description

The creative resource manager is the guy or gal that typically supports the creative director's with deciding who works on what projects from a creative stand point.

They are also in many cases the go to people in the agency for creative recruiting.

A job description for the Creative Resource Manager may look like this:

The Creative Resources Manager typically manages an agency’s creative resources. They direct and help coordinate the day-to-day agency creative and production efforts typically with the Creative Director. In this role, the Creative Resource Manager insures that the agency maintains:

  • An environment where creativity can happen.
  • Enhance our talent base and manage our talent needs.
  • Support the creative process in a fast paced production environment.
  • A consistently superior creative product.

Responsibilities and Duties
 
The Creative Resource Manager has four areas of responsibility (specific duties of each are explained below)

  1. Planning, Analyzing, Evaluating
  • Works with producers and creative directors to assess talent needs, acts as point of contact to book and confirm talent.. 
  • Proactively builds on a pre-existing network of contacts.
  • Ability to recognize internal creative needs or project risks.
  • Monitors creative team hours against budgets. 
  • Assists producers in locating all agency talent / freelance needs.
  • Reviews, analyzes and evaluates and vets all creative talent for the agency.
  • Ability to match team members against projects.
  • Determines project risk on an ongoing basis, escalates issues as needed.
  • Evaluate best team makeup for assigned projects.
  • Monitors out of scope requests, elevates issues to initiate additional billing.
  • Manage and resolves resource booking conflicts
  • Manage resourcing forecast spreadsheets for all departments based on input from weekly meetings and the Production Team.
  • Maintain constant knowledge of current and upcoming projects and business development activities as they relate to resourcing.
  • Monitor day to day project activities and resourcing, identifying potential instances of underutilization and actively work with department leads to address and solve those issues
  • Recommend process improvements for Resource Management
  • Responsible for managing overall utilization

Work to resolve any issues regarding under or over allocations of current staff members

  1. Team Leading, Coordinating, Managing
  • Schedules all creative meetings and works with the producers to monitor schedules and project needs.
  • Helps to prepare materials for creative presentations.
  • Manage communication around shifting priorities with key stakeholders.
  • Monitors staffing and resources against assigned projects in order to meet project deadlines and budgets.
  • Act as the team leader on all assigned projects.
  • Maintains communications with appropriate agency and client personnel to ensure positive workflow. Escalating exceptions and issues to Director level as required
  • Keeping project status reports up to date
  • Monitoring and enforcing project constraints (schedule / scope / resources)
  • Champion internal systems for higher productivity working
  • Drive projects to final stages of completion by keeping the team both on track and highly motivated.
  • Manage ECD’s schedules.
  • Run weekly resource meeting and facilitate resourcing issues / conflict resolution with Production Team and appropriate department heads.
  • Arrange weekly meetings with Production and Senior Management Team, to discuss all active programs and potential new business as well as to stay informed of potential issues such as resource and change control matters
  1. Project & Product Management
  • Manage assigned projects, involved with client projects from start to finish, ensuring successful project completion against deadlines.
  • Provide and maintain agency resource status - liaising with development teams, designers and commercial staff to provide accurate updates of resource needs
  • Initiates and leads all appropriate project meetings.
  1. Financial & Administrative
  • Organize and review “new hire” paperwork for employees.
  • Prepare documentation and paperwork for all talent and freelance hires.
  • Track availability of all agency staff members.
  • Track and manage talent database. Manage freelance and contract worker relationships.
  • Manage NDA documentation
  • Assist in managing the production of new business presentations and materials as assigned
  • Works with producers to insure proper billing and invoicing.
  • Reviews WIPs and final billing reports. 
  • Strong business and personal ethics

Agency Basics, the Style Guide

While an agency style guide has morphed over the years to include guidelines on how the agency builds files, and sets up programming, if the agency does have a style guide it can seem like a left over from another age.

However, in the absence of an in-house proofreader, it can be helpful to create your own. So here are some old proofreading guidelines to help you to create your own agency style guide.

The “Style Guide” is the agency’s design and copywriting guide on how copy is treated. All agency’s have their own unique set of rules to follow on how type is created from comp through production. It can be helpful to use the agency style guide from the initial client presentation of the comp, as you know, anything you present to the client, can and will be interpreted. So getting it right from day one can help reduce rounds of revisions. 

It does help to have one in the agency. This way everyone agrees on some of the basics, thus avoiding simple style errors that your proofreaders may pickup down the line. It will also help, since your production studio can be held accountable to follow the guide.

It should be noted that the guide follows some older typeographic rules. 

Here are some general "style" issues that your agency can pick and choose from:

• Correct use of a hyphen (-), en dash (–, represents the word “to”, “through” or “from” as in 9–5; never “and”) or em dash (—, for parenthetical observations). The style is for no spaces before or after any hyphens or dashes.
 • No double spaces after punctuation. No double dashes, use an em dash instead.
 • Always use nonjustifying spaces or “command backslash” to align characters.
 • Use an en space (when Standard Em Space is off) to align single- and double-digit numbers.
 • Do not use the Zapf Dingbats.
 • Center type by centering optically. If necessary, hang punctuation as with justified or flush right text.
 • Type set in initial caps, as used in headlines or subheads should be set without a period at the end.
 • Ellipsis is three periods...with no spaces on either side. It does not need to get an extra period at the end of a sentence. If using a proper ellipsis with additional punctuation, be sure to add a slight space (periods..., with) after the ellipsis and a full space after the secondary punctuation.
 • Dashes and hyphens—have no spaces on either side. Adjust manual kerning, if necessary to equalize the space on either side of dashes and hyphens, especially when used with numerals, i.e., 1-800-70 / 1-800-70
 • When using dashes with numerals or all cap letters, adjusted to center vertically.
 • The appearance and readability of consecutive capital letters or numerals of three or more in text can often be improved by adding additional tracking and reducing their size 97–90%. e.g., from between one-quarter to one point at a 10 point size. When possible replace stylized small caps with the proper font and adjust for additional tracking.
 • The copyright symbol (©) should not be followed by a spaceband; in a properly mastered font it will have a built-in “shoulder” and should be followed immediately by the date. e.g., ©2001 Adsubculture.
 • All punctuation, dashes and spaces should have the same style, color and format as the word preceding it; e.g., Panasonic®, our voice acti...
 • All punctuation should be placed inside quotation marks. This rule can be broken to ensure clarity.
 • These style standards have been incorporated within can be placed into custom XPress Preferences, these include Small Caps, superscript, subscript and superior.
 • There should be no spacing separating an asterisk and word in the text; in the footnote below, however, an asterisk should be followed by a space.

  • Footnote style: Footnotes are separated from the text block either by a space, never smaller than the general line spacing of the text of the text area, or by a thin rule.

• Avoid using a typeface in which you use excessive tracking or horizontal/vertical scaling is used. (+/- 3 should be considered maximum for tracking). It’s always better to find and use a typeface that is designed with the attributes you want rather than distorting one.
 • Create an single agency font library and use it.