When you want to study advertising today, where do you go to school?
Depending on your educational and professional objectives, there are a handful of excellent options. There’s VCU Brandcenter, University of Texas, University of Oregon, University of Colorado, and the portfolio schools. Another path can be found at Savannah College of Art and Design (where Luke Sullivan teaches). Finally, future ad makers will want to consider Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Department Chair, Gary Goldsmith, formerly of Goldsmith/Jeffrey, makes strong arguments throughout for his school and the ad industry generally.
“We have faculty here who are working in all the best places in LA, doing some of the best work being done now,” Goldsmith says. “They bring a very professional bias to it, they treat our students with high expectations. They’re nurturing. They’re going to push you to get better and better and better.”
Faculty member and creative director at Wong Doody/LA Dennis Lee adds, “What you get from a typical ad school, are advertising students. What we get from Art Center is Art Center students that have seen how cars are designed, buildings are designed, how to make a film, illustration, photography…that well-roundedness, I think it gives you longevity.”
It may be helpful to point out how few people in the ad business have formal training in making advertising. Advertising education or no, ultimately, ad makers must understand people. Therefore, working as a waiter, Uber driver, or in another role with lots of human interaction, can also be a great preparation for the ad business. You can gain all the technique in the world, but if you lack empathy, marketing communications isn’t a good fit. If you happen to be blessed with empathy, technique and an Art Center education, there will be no stopping you.