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The hovering Art Director

So, Adobe has released a new film… It’s called the “Hovering Art Director”.

The film could, or maybe should, however, be called ‘the frustrated designer’, as the ‘art director’ in the film is obviously not a hands on designer or, as it’s a fictitious advertising agency, even someone with no formal training but a good understanding of marketing.

It’s an interesting film, designed to give viewers a comical take on agency life. While, of course, it’s mainly designed to try and sell Adobe’s new stock library, the pace of the film, more worryingly, perpetuates the idea that designers just ‘push a big design button’ and that something as ‘epic’ as the end result can be achieved in just half a morning.

The idea of there no longer being any craft in design is a trend that a lot of creative directors are talking, and worrying, about on LinkedIn forums. There is an industry belief that so called ‘automated software’ can make difficult tasks, such as cutting out a furry bear cub, a simple 30-second job.



Design, at it’s core, is about solving problems and improving the viewer’s experience when interacting with and engaging with what we are presenting them with. As a designer, that becomes even more difficult when you have no idea what problem you’re being asked to solve, the reasons behind the message or why it has to be so rushed.

The end product will always feel weaker, as it has been pulled around, messed about and altered beyond the original scope and, ultimately, pride in the product will be non-existent.



The better way to approach this (and how we operate) involves designers being present in brainstorms or in the creation of the brief, thus garnering a greater understanding and buy-in of what’s actually needed. This also allows designers to have their say before a brief goes ‘too far’ or becomes set in stone.

A designer’s ideas are then incorporated as the project moves forward, ensuring there is craft in its creation and ultimately resulting in a better result for the client.

Of course, the film doesn’t show what happens in the client meeting… that’s another story.

Watch the video here