Just because you wear a suit, doesn’t make you a suit.

Only if you wear the same navy, polyester, shapeless suit every day of your working life are you a suit.

I can’t remember where I read that and apologies for not citing you if you’re reading.

A post on the Scamp blog by a ‘Creative/Creative Director’ from the Above The Line agency BBH in London made me think about image, perception and impressions that us ‘creatives’ transmit when working with clients.

The basic premise of his post was that you cannot be creative if you look like everyone else. He ran a poll recently which seems to show that the readers of his blog back this up. Though there are a few dissenting voices in the comments.

Now, as a ‘Creative’ I know what image means. I understand that how I present myself, my work and my verbal rationale all has an affect on how it is perceived by the client. But I would truly say that what comes out of your mouth is the most important aspect of the image mix (though I do like to hide behind particularly striking glasses). The number of designers that I have worked with and interviewed over the last 8+ years who could produce beautiful work but couldn’t even coherently replay the brief they worked to.

If nothing else, four years at art college taught me how to talk my way out of a paper bag. Rationale, reasoning, compelling argument, eloquent rhetoric. When I’m trying to convince a client that their visual brand expression on a given piece of digital comms is the most effective piece of brand application since the casting of the Coke bottle mould, the fact of whether I’m wearing check trousers and an ironic t-shirt or a nice two-piece and Pink shirt makes sod all difference.

Perhaps, the ATL types have to rely on looking ‘creative’ to sell their ideas, I don’t know. It’s not a world I know particularly well and have no immediate desire to find out.

Anyway, didn’t Matisse and Einstein wear suits every day of their adult lives? The perception of their ‘creativity’ wasn’t exactly stifled was it? But then, what do we mean by ‘creativity’? Oh God, I leave that one for another day.

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