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Herding cats to ensure the WOW remains

Everyone in an orchestra has an important role to play. Woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings all learn to play together in harmony, and are all led by a conductor standing at the front of the stage.

When it comes to branding initiatives, marketing strategies, key messages and communication plans,
the role of the creative director is no different than the role of the conductor.

But what the audience sitting back enjoying the music doesn’t always realize is that an orchestra is more than just the sum of its instruments; there are many more “invisible” people involved in making that performance come to life. There are stagehands, a lighting crew and sound techs all doing work behind the scenes where no one notices them.

When it comes to creative endeavours, those roles all fall on the production artist. This person knows where everyone sits and understands how everyone meshes together. In other words, the skilled production artist knows how to manage all of the moving pieces to take the project from design comp to a completed, tangible product.

The copywriter writes the content, the photographer shoots the pictures, the illustrator creates the visuals, and the graphic designer develops the product but it’s the production artist who takes everyone’s composites and concepts and turns them into one solid masterpiece that is ready for digital launch or print fulfilment.

Often, the production artist works under a tight timeframe, as his or her work cannot truly begin until everyone else sits down to play. Working closely with the creative director, designer and writer, the production artist is a stickler for detail and ensures that the process stays tidy and runs smoothly. In the movies this role falls on the continuity person, in the creative space, this person is the necessary ‘eagle eye’ because we know that the devil is in the details.

The take-charge production artist often liaises with the client to ensure that all of the niggling details are in place, secures the necessary approvals, oversees the timing of the deadlines and connects with the suppliers so that the client always gets the best possible solution on time and on budget.

And all that focused effort and energy ensures that the front of house looks good and the client’s project gets the attention that it deserves.

Read other posts in this series:

Building out the WOW!
Creating the WOW!
In the creative process, writing shouldn’t be DIY


January 30, 2017 by: Klaus Uhlig
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