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Three steps to landing a TDH design/art direction internship

By: Dick

Want the secret to landing an internship at Tom, Dick & Harry? Simply follow the three “Cs” we always covet in a portfolio: Concept, Craft and Care. Only you need to score better than a C in each category. We’re looking for A’s in all three. 

1. Concept

Younger designers and art directors often mistake good design with cool fonts and graphic elements, like ribbons and flourishes. But that’s maybe .5% of it.

Your book needs to go beyond that. At TDH, idea is king. What is the concept? What is the brand position? What is the brand story?

Logos and visual solutions can be one way to demonstrate concept. The Fed Ex logo is a great example. The “arrow” in between the “E” and “X” is brilliant. It gives context to the name and promise without relying on descriptors. This harkens to another great visual solution example from a student book in an ad for WD-40. The visual was of door hinges placed in the middle spread in the spine of the magazine. It was an amazing display of the product benefit without words. What’s even more amazing was that idea is over 15 years old. A great idea can stay with you. Words are great but as a designer/AD challenge yourself to communicate without using any. 

Show us your scribbles. Believe it or not this is the best way to see how you think. In our business, chances are your first idea will die an unceremonious and ugly death. What happens if a client makes their decision on what their spouse or Uncle Lou thinks? This happens more than we’d like to admit. You have to think wide and there is always more than one solution to any assignment. Maybe a bad idea can be salvaged with just a little more sweat and love. Show us your sketches and we can show you a better book.

2. Craft

Imagine if a novelist didn’t use correct grammar or punctuation? Craft is all about the details. It’s caring about what your work looks like. It’s about having uniformity within a campaign. It’s about following a grid system. If you are reading this and have no idea what the word “kerning” is all about, we strongly suggest our account management intern program.

3. Care

You get out what you put into it. If you plan on clocking in and clocking out during regular hours you’re probably not going to get a lot out of this place. You have to love what you do no matter how long you have to work on it. Caring more is often the great differentiator between good and great.

If you can demonstrate all three things above, we can assure that you will be on a shortlist of candidates. There’s the fourth C.

06.02.14   The Biz, The Studio

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