Education October 1, 2014
School Spotlight: Savannah College of Art and Design
Insight from advertising veteran, author and SCAD professor Luke Sullivan
This month, it’s all about education at ADC. A topic near and dear to the Club’s heart, as nothing is more important to us than ongoing learning. From the Saturday and summer workshops for high school students, to the upcoming School of Craft, to the hands-on creative workshops for every experience level up to the Chief Creative Officer of a multinational agency at the ADC Festival, we work tirelessly to push our members and community. For learning means growth, and the ability to more easily adapt and change in mercurial industries.
We will be diving into education on many levels this month, and first up is our School Spotlight series, featuring Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Luke Sullivan, a longtime advertising veteran and author who joined SCAD’s advertising program faculty in 2011, was kind enough to give ADC a feel for the school.
ADC: Thanks for chatting with us Luke. Now obviously SCAD is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia. Do you have any other locations?
Sullivan: We are also located in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France.
How would you describe SCAD?
I considered teaching at several other very popular portfolio programs, but chose SCAD for three reasons:
First, SCAD isn’t just a portfolio school, it’s a university, so a kid can come here and get a college degree and at the same time leave with an interview-ready portfolio. That’s a big deal considering a student doesn’t have to pay for college first, and then go to a grad or portfolio school.
“…a kid can come here and get a college degree and at the same time leave with an interview-ready portfolio.”
The second cool thing is that SCAD offers degrees in 47 different creative majors: motion design, game design, film, photography, graphic design, sound design and more. There’s just a slew of cool programs here, and the best part is that our ad students get to work with these other students, much like art directors and copywriters do in the business. Each year in our Collaborative Learning Center (CLC), we have big brand name clients like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Coke and McDonald’s come to campus with an actual business problem. Classes are formed especially to tackle these client challenges. Students present to the actual clients and 90% of the time, the work is actually executed by the client (which explains all the N.D.A.’s our students have to sign to get in the CLC courses).
Oh, and lastly, it’s kinda beautiful here in Savannah. Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France, don’t suck either.
Name those among your most notable faculty.
Me! (laughs) I’m the author of the popular advertising text used in colleges everywhere, called “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ideas.”
One sure sign of a school’s credibility is the caliber of graduates. Who are the most successful alumni to come out of SCAD in the past few years?
Well, keeping in mind that the advertising program here is only nine years old, I would name Rachel Theberge, class of 2013. Rachel got a job two weeks out of school at Digitas in Boston, and in her first year in the business she won the Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes.
Secondly would be Mike Ackerman, class of 2011, who turned his internship at CP+B into a full-time job as an interactive art director. After winning (among others) two Bronze Lions and a Bronze Cube at the ADC Annual Awards, Mike went from being an ACD to a CD at DDB Chicago, where he oversees all of Capital One.
It’s one thing to great things about a school from its faculty, but we’d love to know what a student or recent grad would say about your program.
Pablo Isaza, (B.F.A. Advertising, 2014): A man named Robert Heinlein once said, “Specialization is for insects,” and I believe he had a point, especially in the context of education. Although I do feel that a person should be great at one thing, he or she should also be good at many.
Luckily for me, I picked SCAD to study advertising. Because unlike many advertising focused programs, I spent almost as much time on projects with people outside of my major as I did with people inside the advertising program.
Throughout my four years, I have been able to work with directors, photographers, illustrators, service designers, fashion designers, interactive designers, and animators, something that many people don’t get to do until later in their careers. And in doing so, I have had the chance to take away bits and pieces of their knowledge and craft in order to work toward becoming a well-rounded creative. As we all have seen in just the past ten years, advertising has become a multifaceted industry that includes media like film, fashion, and art.
SCAD Advertising has taught me to have tunnel neither vision nor think like an insect; if they had, the industry would crush me like one.
“As we all have seen in just the past ten years, advertising has become a multifaceted industry that includes media like film, fashion, and art. SCAD Advertising has taught me to have tunnel neither vision nor think like an insect; if they had, the industry would crush me like one.” — Pablo Isaza, SCAD student (B.F.A. Advertising, 2014)
Well put. Back to you Luke. If there is one thing, tangible or intangible, that makes your SCAD stand out from the rest, what would it be?
Sullivan: I have to repeat what Pablo said, in that the opportunities for our students to collaborate with students in other majors (like photo, film, or motion design) and to work together on real projects for big brands is the coolest part.
What’s the most creative student application you’ve received?
Because I am relatively new here, I cannot put my finger on a particularly creative admissions application, but I can tell you one of my favorite student resume/leave-behinds. Inside was a very small scroll featuring the student’s work, plus some candy pills. On the label outside was the name of the creative director who was interviewing the student, and some copy like, “This is prescribed for creative individuals. For non-prescribed individuals, there can be serious risks involved.”
Lastly, let’s lower the boom. What does tuition at SCAD cost?
Between $40-45,000 USD.
Learn more about SCAD at www.scad.edu, Facebook, Twitter, or take a sneak peek on Instagram. Stay tuned for the next School Spotlight!