in your life. And it's very hard to
  judge the value of it. You distrust
  it and everybody distrusts it.
       So what was new about all this
  work? The VW look was basically an
  evolution of a classic three-column
  Ogilvy layout. Nothing particularly new
  there. The revolutionary things were
  advertising strategy and photography.
  Simple. flat lighting. straightforward.
  The exact opposite of the sharp,
  shiny, extreme perspective style
  coming out of Detroit at the time.
  Cars had not been photographed
  like that before (contact sheet of
  VW shoot set-up, shown, 6). And then
  when the 5.000,000th VW was sold.
  another new photograph (ad shown,
  4). No car. A photograph of empty
  space. Totally surprising, totally
  memorable. Another VW ad for the
  Station Wagon, simply featured a
  crude model of the car made from a
  box (shown, 2). Groundbreaking work.
  Krone: If you don't startle the client,
  you won't startle the reader.”
       You'd probably irnagine a pretty
  startled client looking at the Time-Zero
  Super Colour ads for the first time
  (shown, 3 ). No product No headline.
  No logo. They Look modern and fresh
  today. In fact they're 25 years old and
  were created, incidentally, when
  Krone was in his late 50s. But how
  about this for a quote from Ted Voss
  at Polaroid: “The reason we could do
  what we did, and allow the agency to
  do what it did was (Dr Edwin] Land's
  theory of science, which was that it
  was okay to fail, because only through
  failure could you succeed. So you
  should try new things, you should
  never do what you did before. A great
  philosophy to work with.” He goes on:
  “One of our responsibilities was to
  motivate them, to appreciate them.
  For example, with an agency. rather
  than be adversarial, you really get
  much more for your money if you
  make them want to work on your
  business,” I'm pretty sure they don't
  teach you that at Harvard Business
  School . They should. And this book
  should be on the reading list of all
  marketing courses.
       Every art director, copywriter,
  planner, account person and client
  should read it. It will make you better
  at your job. But I wonder how many
  clients actually will. There's a saying
  that clients get the advertising they
  deserve. Well the Avis client Robert
  Townsend got one of the best
  campaigns ever (ad shown, 5). “Ugly
  but great” is how Bob Gage described
  it. Brilliant strategy and copywriting of
  course. And art direction with
  unusually large copy and no logo. Do
  the ads communicate any less
  effectively because of this? No.
  They're more effective because
  they're more unexpected and
  therefore more memorabIe.
       Clive Challis has done a
  remarkable job unearthing all the
  details and anecdotes associated
  with these famous campaigns, I was
  fascinated, for example, by the
  description of the strange typographic
  decisions within the Avis We Try
  Harder campaign (shown, 7). And the
  way that typography actually improved
  the VW copywriting style. Of course
  you may not find stuff like that
  interesting or important. But then
  that's probably because you're just a
  “concept creator”.
       The final words should go to
  Krone; I'm bored to death with art
  directors no longer being art directors.
  An art director sits down with a writer
  and when they get a concept they put
  it down with a coloured marker,
  They've done their job. For me, that's
  where it starts.'

  Paul Belford (07973153801) is ex-
  Creative director at AMV.BBDO. Helmut
  Krone, The Book., by Clive Challis, is
  Published by The Cambridge Enchorial
  Press and priced at £44.95

    Paul Belford on a new book
  about pioneering art director Helmut
  Krone and the birth of modern
  advertising plus, Pick of the Month
  and books

 He Tried Harder
  Helmut Krone helped define
  modern advertising art
  direction in print. A new book
  looks at his life's work and at
  the Creative Revolution he
  was a part of in the 1960s,
  Paul Belford looks on in
  admiration

 
      It's fashionable these days in ad
  agency creative departments to
  dispense with the job tales of “art
  director” and “copywriter”: you
  become a kind of “concept creator”.
      When each member of a creative
  team claim to both art direct and
  write, they tend to do neither very
  well. Of course, the most important
  part of our job is to have ideas, but all
  too often good concepts are executed
  in a way that is boring, predictable
  and ultimately, fairly invisible Take a
  look at any newspaper or magazine.
  You'll see what I mean. Then take a
  look at Helmut Krone. The Book. to
  see what a good art director can do.
      Modern advertising art direction
  began in the 1950s. in New York at
  the beginning of the so-called
  Creative Revolution. And the people
  we have to thank for this particular
  giant leap for mankind were Paul
  Rand and Bob Gage. And Helmut
  Krone? No. At this time he was
  actually pretty ordinary. Which leads
  us to one of hundreds of thought
  provoking Krone quotes in the book:
  Until you've got a better answer, you
  copy. I copied Bob Gage for five
  years. And Bob originally copied Paul
  Rand and Rand originally copied a
  German typographer called Jan
  Tschichold.”
      Bet you never had anyone telling
  you to copy before did you? Well,
  there's more. Much more. Do ads
  need logos? Can the body copy be as
  big as the headline? Do you need a
  headline? Does it matter if no one
  reads the copy? Can the treatment be
  the idea? Radical stuff. Except for the
  fact that these ideas were floating
  around in the 60s end 70s.
       I genuinely doubt whether Helmut
  Krone could hold down a job in an ad
  agency creative department today
  where it can feel that you have to be
  fast, cheap and (only if the first two
  criteria have been met) good. Krone
  certainly wasn't fast or cheap. And he
  wasn't good. He was great.
       But he was also lucky. In Bill
  Bernbach he had an agency boss who
  was a friend and, most importantly,
  understood the value of innovative
  work even if some of the clients
  didn't. So they put more energy into
  selling that work, Great work. For
  great brands. Volkswagen, Avis, Audi,
  Polaroid, Porsche — the list goes on.
         And what made this work so
  great? Two things. He worked with
  talented copywriters (although he
  often drove them to tears, literaIly)
  and fantastic art direction. And it was
  fantastic because it was new. Krone:
   “The only quality I really have an
  appreciation for is newness. To see
  something that no one's seen before.
  New comes at 11 o'clock at night.
  New means breaking rules. It's not
  related to anything that you've seen
  before