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Who wants to be in Creative Review?

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 We all do. Let's face it, that's the honest answer. We're all creatives, therefore we're all big, blinking show-offs, therefore we want our work splashed across a ruddy great DPS in the next available issue of CR. And don't say you don't, because you do. 

The point is, we shouldn't. There are people starving in the world and it's only a magazine and pride in your work is its own reward and you really should be more modest and have a less self-centred, more spiritual approach. All these things are true and they will always be acknowledged, before being overlooked or ignored in the mind of the creative professional.

It's because we're hired to come up with colours, shapes, words and concepts for people to look at, sneer at, read, hate, admire, loathe and enjoy, that we end up with this personality defect. 'Look at me, Ma!' our egos are shrieking, long after the regular person has reached a natural level of embarrassment. But this is fair enough. On a daily basis we choose to expose the contents of our heads in a massively subjective arena, justify what we have done, accept the possibility of dismissal with courage and good grace, then do it all over again. When you think about it, it's a wonder we have a shred of self esteem left. 

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It was launched in 1980 and is now considered a showcase for all things wonderful in the UK's creative industry. A feature within its covers (or beyond its homepage) is thought by most designers to be a career high and the ultimate exposure for their work. The fact it has a circulation of just 20,000 does little to dampen the ardour of dedicated studio dwellers and failure to make it into the publication is now the source of such frustration, the excluded are fighting back. 

Rebellion comes in the shape of a Twitter feed: Not In Creative Review Twitter

Its mission statement positions it as a campaign for designers who believe their work should be noticed. I'll overlook the fact that copywriters don't appear to be included and say this is an admirable enterprise. Creative Review is incredibly metropolitan. If you work for a provincial creative shop, there's more chance of growing a second bottom than seeing your latest campaign on the front of the magazine or its website. Even if you are working in London, it tends to be rather snobby, focusing on 'high concept' excellence as opposed to the bread and butter briefs which make up the bulk of the business. In contrast, Twitter users don't really care where you're based (unless you use the i-Phone's GPS widget, they tend not know either). What's more, anyone can post links to their endeavours on NICR , so there is no editorial bias towards folk in a Soho-based loop of admiration. It's very democratic like that. 

Democracy cuts both ways, however. Should you post a link to some horrific double glazing shouting fest starring Canon & Ball, you can probably expect the immediate and sharply-pointed condemnation of your peers. Presumably there is moderation in place to prevent wholesale personal abuse but  frank criticism seems to be as likely as whole-hearted encouragement. As born attention-seekers, this should be a healthy experience for every creative who takes part in the programme. 

I do have a slight reservation. By calling the service 'Not In Creative Review', a fair amount of power is handed to CR itself. There's just a slight 'second best' vibe about the project, thanks solely to that title. It's rather like the Daily Mirror calling itself 'Not In The Sun'  it invites the question: 'Why not?' 

But I'm splitting hairs. With a bit of luck this will soon become an outlet for everyone's efforts  and a destination that is every bit as credible and visible as CR - while having the advantage of being considerably more accessible.  Indeed, there would seem to be ample scope for NOCR to become a burgeoning, full scale site in its own right. 

The feed is very young but already you'll find plenty of links to interesting portfolios and sites. Any initiative that introduces talented people to each other, and thereby to clients, will receive nothing but praise from this particular show-off. But why not spare a thought for the 'umble copywriter while you're at it, eh?

Magnus Shaw - blogger, copywriter and not in Creative Review

www.magnusshaw.co.uk

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