My first art director was a fellow straight off of a twenty year run on Madison Avenue. He had been the creative director at Compton, Lennon, Newell… some big agencies, with big accounts. Lou showed up on the doorstep one day, and said ” I think you need me, and I need you.” He was a gift.
Lou knew marker comps. He was a master. Here’s why that matters…
I could come up with a killer idea, and Lou could sit down with a newsprint pad – and sketch it out beautiful enough to share with a client. It would take him anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. I would take the “marker comp” out to the client, explain the concept using the drawing – and we had a thumbs up or down in no time at all. The client could see enough – to understand the concept, and get a good idea of what the ad would look like.
The object isn’t to run up a client’s bill. It’s to get the idea approved, without investing a fortune. It’s not as easy to do in today’s computer world. And then the computer created “comp” used to sell the idea, is so detailed – the client gets caught up in the minutia. “I’m not sure I like the red door.”
There are still a few marker comp artists, “wrists,” out there. I try and use them whenever possible.