CCA's (Creative Crap Agencies)

I could have called them Creative Crap Design Agencies, but using the word "Creative" is already too much, so imagine the deal about using another one, like "Design". Uf!

I recently returned to Portugal and if you don't know already, I'm a graphic designer and my experience came from working here (in a collective of super cool and really bold creative studios - and I really mean bold and creatives - where I initially founded my own studio). I ended up in Belgium, then in Malta and Poland working in the best agency and studio of each country.

The panorama in Portugal is quite tough: there's a very interesting work from the small and cool studio. Yes, I wrote "cool" and people know and recognize them as cool abroad. Sometimes, they even are a big reference.
But what is the issue here with these small studios? Well, in Porto the world is small, everyone tends to know everyone and visit each other's spaces. The problem arises when we talk about management. You can simply verify that those small studios have issues in managing their work-houses and in trying to sell their projects.
Then you have the 'big' agencies, that's exactly where things get more hilarious. If you do a research, you can find out that most of them call themselves "creatives" and when you open their portfolios you can sing alone "oh baby it hurts". Soon I've learned in life that when you constantly define yourself in a certain way, using always the same adjectives, it's because you simply feel that for you it's highly necessary to create a definition of yourself that exact same way (in order for others to see of course, and maybe to fill your crap ego with bs). Guess what: for people with two eyes, one active brain and taste, your portfolio shows exactly the opposite! No offense. And if you felt burned by those words, then it's because something goes really wrong there, right?!
Feel free to continue the ride because gold words will come. Take them and catch the chicken egg while you're reading.

I know you did a poster of an event in the town (to be disclosed in Porto), and you didn't have the time to take a photo of an outdoor screen in the city, so you used a picture of Amsterdam to mockup your thing and to present to your client. That sir, was cleaver, professional and super creative. (Yes, believe it, I saw this in a "big agency" portfolio).
And I know you did two hundreds of brochures and posters with twenty thousands of words each, with a crap photo and a shit filter of a guy to be lost somewhere between the background of the city's environment. Yup, right to the trash! It can be hard to speak with the client, we all know. And harder to keep them. Feel free to use the same mockups, it's a creative thing for your creative ads.

Here's my list of two things that must be done in this country:
  • We need to watch real advertising again (or go back to the past when 'publicidade' (advertising) was associated with 'criatividade' (creativity). 

And this, I believe to be the core problem and so we must wait for a 'milagre da Nossa Senhora de Fátima' (miracle of Our Lady of Fátima) to save us from the tragedy (and solve this crap):
  • We need to have a better visual culture. Small studios are doing their work but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be enough.

The sad thing about all this? It's hard to find a good pay work in Portugal plus a company with great works to present. And as I usually say: if you only know the crap reality, you will find it perfect, great or even enough for your professional and happy life. The problem comes when - and just maybe - you do it better or know something better (i.e.: knowing multiple realities) and you must deal with the crap stuff.

At the end of the day:
We all know that it's hard to change the old man mentality. No problem, I want to believe that the new generation saw the greatest things from the *'smallest'.

*smallest: superlative adjective; creative graphic design studios, sometimes agencies. Those with the expressive super cool work. Or those who are designers, thinkers, creatives; workers of studios/agencies with a good design.

Another title, but it was too big to be used: Reasons to cry blood - Why there's only a very few super tiny number of super great agencies?

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