What are they good for? – By @AsforAlex

By Alexandra Sims


What are they good for?

Entering into term 3 having not been on many book crits and just starting out a new partnership , Sasha and I did an agency binge with our portfolio and quickly realised how much we had missed out on by not going sooner. Get out there even if it means taking a book of early stage ideas and flying solo or with a temporary partner. For my final SCAB I’d like to share with you some of the words and wisdom we got for improving a book.

  1. Everyone wants to see a new fresh way to view a brand. They want to see that you can change perceptions and do something unusual. So does your work make people look twice? Is it saying something new? Is it unexpected in a great way?


  1. “This could run.” Sounds like something we’d love to hear right? Nope. It’s the most backhanded compliment you’re likely to frequently receive. Agencies want student books to show ideas they would never think of. It’s better to go big with an idea and rein it in than to show something familiar or a little too safe, even if it is a smart idea. Save the client pleasing stuff for when you’re in the agency.


  1. If you’re not happy with something or find it harder to be enthusiastic about a campaign then scrap it. Introduce a three strike policy. If you continually get the same bad feedback then it’s time to change or more than likely replace it.
  2. A true insight can make a campaign. Don’t try and force human truths, they won’t be well received. Have something relatable to your audience in every idea.


  1. Less is more. It’s better to show 3 amazing campaigns you’re really proud of than 12 that are average because they’ll drown out the great stuff. You will be judged by the worst thing in your book. You want your book to show the very best of what your capable of, your personality and what sort of work you want to be making (which is definitely easier said than done)


  1. Art direction is crucial to elevation idea print. Consider the typography, the layout, the colours. Get off Photoshop and find practical techniques like printing, photographing, perspective.


  1. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re in stressCA, especially when there’s a short amount of time left but pretty much everyone we’ve met wants to help and build our ideas. They all want you to do well and see your book grow.


There are only a couple of days left and then we never have to be at the mercy that ridiculous printer again.

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