by Emma Strydom (@emmamaria_s) Before designing this book, Creative#Director, we looked at the title of creative director. What does it mean, what does it look like and how does it feel?

The title and act itself is an oxymoron, a wonderful juxtaposition of two different crafts and skills coming together to be one brilliant crusade. The creative is impulsive and unpredictable, coloured with ideas and busting with possibility. The director is sanity created out of reasonable judgement and ushers of hesitation. Together, these two are the snakes head in the convoy to conjuring extraordinary things.

Creative#Director bookWe wanted this unlikely harmony to be the visual concept of the book. We asked the creative directors to send us photos of themselves, along with the ones we took. They are classic black and white, leaning towards the ‘director’ traits. We then laced them with colour and disorder, the ‘creative’ traits.

We wanted people to linger and indulged in the book, but not only in its valuable contents. On receiving the book, you are met with a soft touch finish that inclines you to stroke over it, to tap over the different textures of gloss and foil inserts.

The first of many electrocutions of the eyes introduces itself, thanks to a generous helping of spot orange. Just before you recover, you encounter a familiar feeling but one totally out of place. A curious matter. Made to resemble that of a potato skin. A potato skin that hosts spot oranges and UV varnishes. It’s smooth sailing from here. Almost smooth. The book is filled with pit stops of sensations. Flaps of stories almost forgotten, shiny finishes that will make you feel protective and colour combos that can make a sober person see double.

The book is an immensely insightful and entertaining journey. The exterior that holds that journey should be an exploration in itself.

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Emma Strydom and Mike SchalitIn order to inspire the next generation of creative leaders in South Africa, Net#work BBDO has published the Creative#Director (C#D) book — insights into the creative process by 30 of South Africa’s top creative leaders. Beautifully crafted and designed by Emma Strydom, produced by Clinton Mitri and Exhibit Print in the finest of glossy coffee-table book traditions, it’s a riot of provocation and inspiration, edited and curated by Mike Schalit, Net#work BBDO founding partner and CCO, from the responses of 30 creative directors to a few leading questions.

A finer gang of rogues you’ll be hard-pressed to find — they’ve made the Net#work journey infinitely more madcap and magical, building and reinventing brands along the way, and making a difference to bottom lines and society. Some have gone on to become CDs in their own right; some have formed their own agencies; some have simply found themselves; and some are still with the agency today. All proceeds from the special limited-edition book, which costs R995, go towards helping build a library in a disadvantaged community. Donations for the library initiative may also be pledged.

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