Xmas is in June – By @monaonthemoon

By Mona Sharif


Xmas is in June

At SCA, we’re spoiled with great mentors coming to the studio every week, blowing our minds with their masterclasses. But last week was a special one. On Wednesday we had our last MC from Alex Taylor who gave us – as always – a fabulous masterclass with her 8 golden rules to art direction, followed by a video with golden advice from golden art directors. ✨  Even just this felt like a 24th of December. You know that great feeling of having a delicious Christmas dinner, but you know there’s even more coming because the day after, you’ll wake up and open your Christmas gifts… On Thursday we had Paul Belford in the studio. His masterclass was our gift and I think every fat penguin will agree that it really was the best gift we could have dreamt of! 

So here are some learnings from this June’s Xmas: 

1. If an idea isn’t great, it isn’t worth art directing it. 

2. The voice of the brand should be reflected somehow in the art direction. 

3. The choice of your typeface sets the brand’s voice. 

Tip: Using different font for the headline and the body copy adds contrast and colour

4. Size is everything. 

Scale and hierarchy are really important. 

Tip: Print your ad as big as you can to get a feeling of how well your ad is working.

5. There’s always room for improvement on your layout. 

6. Leave arms open to accidents. Try to get off the Mac and play around with your layout. Sometimes the best art directions come from accidents.

7. Collect references. Bring your origins and references into your work.

8. Be obsessed in your competitors. 

See what people are doing and do the opposite. 

9. If you have a lot of photos in your layout, editing them in black and white will make them go better together. 

10. Don’t be afraid of long copy. At least investigate the option of long copy. People only read what interests them. And sometimes it’s an ad. 

11. A great ad is made up of 3 great ideas: 

– the strategic idea

– the creative idea

– the executional idea

12. No one wants to see ads in magazines. If you don’t scream at people they’re more likely to spend time looking at it. 

13. Be obsessed with what Helmut Krone called ‘The New Page’. 

Never do the same layout. 

14. An ad shouldn’t look like an ad. 

15. Sometimes it’s better to reject the logo. 

16. Aim for reaction. Stand out. But always be relevant and be able to justify your art direction choices. 

17. Find work that doesn’t feel like work. 

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