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  • Writer's pictureDarby Harmon

Lessons Learned from Abandoned Projects - Vintage Style Magazine Ad Campaign

In the world of creative endeavors, not every project reaches the finish line. Sometimes, despite best efforts and careful planning, circumstances lead to an abrupt halt. As someone who has navigated numerous projects, I've experienced the full spectrum of outcomes. One such memorable project was a magazine ad campaign that, while ultimately unfinished, remains a testament to the dedication and skill poured into every commission.

This particular project was aimed at creating a magazine ad for a student outreach program with a noble mission: to introduce inner-city kids to the joys of snowboarding and skiing. The client provided a unique reference—a liquor ad from a 1970s Playboy magazine. The vintage style of the reference photo was both a challenge and a delight to replicate. Adding a twist, the client requested that his likeness be incorporated into the ad, along with the presence of a snowboard to tie back to the program’s theme.

Taking on this project, I dove deep into the era-specific aesthetic. Hand drawing the image, I meticulously worked to mimic the 1970s ad style as closely as possible. Capturing the essence of that period while incorporating modern elements like a snowboard was a creative balancing act. The process was intensive, involving countless hours of fine-tuning to ensure the final piece would resonate with the intended audience and pay homage to the original inspiration.

Unfortunately, despite the hard work and dedication invested, the project fell apart before we could see it through to completion. The reasons were multifaceted and, as is often the case, beyond my control. However, one silver lining was that I was compensated for my efforts. This not only validated the work I had done but also underscored the importance of valuing creative labor, even when projects don't come to fruition.

Abandoned projects, though incomplete, are not failures. They are part of the journey, each offering lessons and honing our skills for future endeavors. They remind us that the creative process itself is valuable, and every stroke of the pen, every draft, and every brainstorming session contributes to our growth as professionals.

Reflecting on this project, I am reminded of the passion and effort that goes into every piece of work. While this magazine ad campaign didn't make it to print, the experience and skills gained were invaluable. And who knows? Perhaps the hand-drawn likeness of my client, poised with a snowboard in a vintage-inspired ad, will find its way into another project down the line. In the world of creativity, no effort is ever truly wasted.

Vintage Style Ad

This first image is the one I designed. We never got to the point of adding text beyond the filler. The following two images are the reference images I was given.

Retro Ad

60s 70s advertisment

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