How Good Is Your Creative?

You know it when you see it. It saturates direct mail, brochures and catalogs. We see it at trade shows and on retail signage. Bad, poorly directed, off-brand, and misguided creative is everywhere. A famous creative director once said, “99% of all creative is crap. The big idea is to do the other 1%.” We wholeheartedly concur.

How Do You Fix Bad Creative?

The short answer is that you can’t. If the product being promoted is poorly made, serves no purpose or lives in a sea of sameness, even the best creative can’t fix it. It’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

With that said, there’s always hope. If you can find something about the product or brand that separates itself from the rest of the pack, there you will find your inspiration. Your creative should rally around one feature or benefit that no one in the demographic can live without.

Everyone Thinks They’re a Great Creative

Don’t get us wrong. Everyone has the ability to be creative at something. When it comes to branding, however, you need to let the plumbers plumb and the designers design. A good Director of Marketing knows that their job is to give a creative team the best input possible and then let them loose. A good creative team will know what to do.

What do you mean by creative team?

We start with the designer or art director. Traditionally, they are paired up with a copywriter. As a two-person team, they can provide the whole enchilada. They immerse themselves into your brand. They create headlines, layouts, creative concepts, and anything that may fit on a postcard, building, website, brand book, trade show booth, or in a print magazine. They start by creating a visual brand identity. They will give the brand a voice, a brand tonality and a brand hierarchy, and if they are good, they can make your brand stand out. In a good way. 

Here are 9 things to look for when hiring a designer or creative team:

  1. Are they big thinkers who see the big picture?
  2. Are they passionate and inquisitive?
  3. Does the designer understand how to prepare creative for litho printing?
  4. Can the writer elevate your mission statement or vision if necessary?
  5. Are they innovative as well as collaborative?
  6. Are they good listeners and check out what else is happening in the competitive landscape?
  7. Check out their portfolio links: Do they have several different voices that are appropriate to the brand? Or are they a one-trick pony? This is very important.
  8. Can they execute in several areas of a campaign as well as overdeliver?
  9. Keep in mind not all digital creatives are great at print. Not all traditional creatives are well-versed in digital. There are teams and designers, though, that are good at both. Find the unicorns.

When it comes to creative output there are big agencies, small agencies, and in-between sized agencies for hire. Some brands use in-house creative. Some require it and don’t know where to start.

Bigger Dot Knows Where to Start

At Bigger Dot, we have access to a stable of creative talent for your creative output. We stand behind the ethos that we are a part of your team. Not just a vendor. We are committed to your brand from concept to execution. We have worked with some of the most illustrious brands in the business, and yours could be next.

Contact us and see how Bigger Dot can make your creative big. Even if your budget isn’t.


bigger dot is a global print project management company that provides custom, specialized and strategic print project solutions. We work with industries such as performing arts, tech, education, aerospace, and corporate culture changers.