Is it possible to be a great art director and not use a computer? Or, is it possible to be a great art director if you use a computer?

Dear Students,

These two ads ran on the back cover of CA in the middle 1990’s.
Steve Luker was the art director.
I think they’re still good.
Some of the writing is ok, but, for me, their appeal is mostly that they don’t look like anything else.

I typed the words on a Mac Quadra and printed them on a black & white printer.
That’s the only contribution a computer made.
Mr. Luker cut the pieces with an exacto and glued them to a board in the arrangement you see here.
The decisions he made he made in real time with his hands.

(click on image to enlarge)

I applaud the work you’ve done mastering art direction on a computer at VCU.
I suggest you do not neglect to master the two tools that dangle at the end of your arms as well.
Only they can produce work no one has seen before.

If all art directors use computers,
and all computers are created by software geeks,
and computers can only do what they’ve been programmed to do,
does that mean all art direction in advertising is being done by software geeks?
(please, I wish to use software geek as a term of respect, thank you)

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