The heart of a designer, the head of an advertiser.

​Back in the day, I never envisioned myself working in an ad agency. I’ve always thought that agency life was cut throat, malicious and tedious work that I didn’t have the creative gumption to survive in.

When I applied to work at an agency, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and what type of designer I would become. 

In the past, I always thought in the great design debate “Form versus Function”, I always favoured the “Form” side. The visual was what drove my passion for design. But when I started working at an ad agency, the word ‘strategy’ entered my vocabulary and changed my perception forever. 

Working with some of the best copywriters and strategists in the city, my perspective on advertising completely changed. They’ve opened my mind and have influenced me in ways I could have never imagined. Coming up with the message, strategy, campaigns, tag lines, etc had opened my mind up to a completely new way of viewing design for me. It isn’t just about the “Form” for me anymore, it’s about “Form and Function” having equal ground. I wasn’t just creating logos, I was creating brands. I wasn’t creating ads, I was creating multi-faceted campaigns. 

My goal working in advertising is to whole-heartedly believe in my clients and their messages. I take on their brand, respect it, nurture it and help it succeed in the marketplace.

The major joy of working in an agency? It’s never the same day twice. My career goal since I was 19: become an animator. I didn’t expect to stay in the design field long, but I am so grateful that I did. Agency life has offered me so much more than I expected. I have such a vast array of projects in my portfolio that I couldn’t have ever imagined when first starting out. In the past few years, I have been working in television – something that always surprises me. Currently I am working on animated shorts for a client, which satisfies my taste for animation.So it looks like I can have my cake and eat it too.

 I love this job.

Tweet us any questions you may have about agency life. Creative Director and GDC board member, Michelle McBride, is available this month to answer your questions!