My pad. Birthplace and deathplace of ideas

There’s certain technology us freelance copywriters can’t do without. Internet-enabled laptops for example. We need them for writing long copy, emailing and research.

When it comes to playing around with ideas though, we usually resort to good old pen and paper. (Any paperless copywriters or art directors reading, please tell me how you manage.)

Even in digital creative agencies, I still see a lot of paper layout pads. And all the art directors and designers I work with like to have their old-school pads for scribbling on.

After all, an important part of the creative process is to take the doodle or layout you’ve drawn, scrunch it up and throw it over at the wastepaper basket – or at your dopey creative partner. Something that’s not very easy to do with an iPad or laptop.

Also, whatever medium we’re creating ideas for, we find it easier to share our thoughts with pen and paper than by electronic means.

For the benefit of any non-creatives reading this, below is an example of how an advertising idea starts out on my pad and ends up produced. It’s a web ad that was part of an integrated campaign which I conceived and wrote for M&G Investments at Arthur London a few months back.  Very often, finished ads bear little resemblance to the ideas on which they’re based, but this one did.

Web ad idea for M&G Investments

The idea on the left became the Flash ad below, appearing on websites for IFAs.

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