What’s A Creative, exactly? I’ve heard the noun being kicked around in advertising circles (“This is Miles, he’s The Creative who’ll be working on the account.” “We’ll punt it over to The Creatives, see what they can do with it.”) where it seems to exist as an implied rebuke to everyone else in the organisation. How, after all, do you describe someone who isn’t A Creative? An Uncreative? A Destructive?
And while we’re on the subject, is it these Creatives who are expected to read the magazine called Creative Review? Or has it become something akin to The Economist; I wonder how many readers of that publication define themselves as economists. I only ask because a recent feature (in CR, not The Economist) dealt with David Pearson’s cover designs for Penguin’s new editions of George Orwell’s major works. The one that has attracted most attention is for
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the title and author’s name are obscured by black foil, and only visible in the right light because the characters are debossed. It’s a bold step, entirely in tune with the theme of Orwell’s novel, but it clearly carries with it certain commercial risks; what if the casual bookshop browser (if they still exist) can’t identify the book? And such concerns are presumably what prompted the following deliciously Gradgrindian comment, from one Graham:
I hate designers that get so keen to impress that they just do something completely impractical like block out all the type. Bottom line: Its a tossy response to a decent brief. The sort of idea a first year graphics student does before realising that they've made something pathetic instead of clever. We can all come up with witty rational for impractical design. The clever thing is when the man on the street can understand the concept and it connects in a genius way. If I was Penguin I'd want my money back. Bollocks to 'covered up'. Start again.
One wonders whether Graham is a Creative, albeit one of a distinctly practical bent. Or is he more likely a bitter Destructive, taking a furtive peek in the Creatives’ magazine and venting all his hatred and resentment on the cool kids down the corridor?