Ad Aged: As Chief Decoration Officer, tell me, what is it you do?
CDO: A good portion of my job involves kerning. I make sure the type on a comp that has a snowball's chance in hell of ever running is perfectly kerned. That often involves the tough task of making sure creatives have no time to concept but plenty of time to execute.
Ad Aged: You make sure the kerning is right?
CDO: Of course there's more to my job than that. Do you know just the other day a CD said, can't we just sketch a comp? I make sure that doesn't happen. That we spend late nights and weekends looking for the right stock photo.
Ad Aged: How do you know when you've found that photo?
CDO: You'll know because you've seen it. I love the feeling I get when my agency's work looks just like everyone else's. I know I've done my job.
Ad Aged: What else does your job entail?
CDO: Basically, I believe we live in a post-meaning world. The medium doesn't matter anymore--I apologize to Marshall McCluhan. Neither does the message. I apologize to Bill Bernbach. What matters is how the message is typeset.
Ad Aged: Anything else?
CDO: Yes. Everything I do is built around the idea that we have to prevent people from thinking. We have five minutes to concept. And five days to build a deck. And believe me, I build a beautiful deck.
Also important are small, colorful splashes on the page. They are without meaning, and we call them abstractions. They permit us to keep art directors working around the clock. Those are billable hours, my friend.
Ad Aged: Thank you for your time, this morning.
CDO: Just let me see this, before it goes out. I'd hate for there to be too much type.