Gone are the days when a Copywriter would work alone at his desk without discussing his ideas with the visualizer. He would hand his copy to the Art Director who headed the art department and the copy would then be given to a visualizer who actually did what art directors do today. As Drayton Bird, former International Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather Bird points out in his Commonsense Creative notes, the principle of a copy/art partnership was quite unknown.
According to Bird, it is generally believed that Bill Bernbach of Doyle Dane Bernbach introduced the idea of a copywriter and visualizer creative team in the late 50’s in New York. Says Bird: “The concept spread very quickly, and I recall in 1962 when I had my first Creative Director’s job I started working in partnership with our best visualizer. But the idea of working in that way was unusual at that time.
“Today most good creative work tends to be produced by Art Director and Copywriter working together. Good partnerships seem to produce outstanding results. Bad partnerships never do.”
I enjoyed this, but I would have liked some illustrations, both visual and textual, of this synergy between copywriter and art director.