Do I really need a portfolio to get a job in advertising?
If you want to work at a legit agency you do. Ad agencies hire job seekers based on their portfolios, not their resumes or GPAs. DAD works with you for 14 months to develop a highly conceptual, well-thought-out, industry-ready portfolio. Our guides (all of whom are working, industry professionals) assign real brands and require the same structure and standards that would be expected in an agency, so you leave here specially prepared to work in advertising and other creative fields.
What programs does DAD offer and how long is each?
We offer programs in Art Direction, Copywriting, and Strategic Planning. The Art Direction and Copywriting programs last 14 months. The Strategic planning program lasts 11 consecutive weeks.
Other ad schools are 2-year programs, why is yours only 14 months?
The last thing most people want to do after spending at least 4 years in college is spend another 40 grand and two more years in another school. That’s a big reason why we think a 14 month program is the best fit for most people. But hey, if you’ve got the free time and extra cash lying around, those other schools are great — really! But a portfolio doesn’t take years to develop. As with any piece of creative, you could theoretically work on it and refine it forever — but the reality is at some point you just need to finish it and move on. We think spending a little over a year on a portfolio and then entering the workforce is the best way to do it.
Can I take a break or do I have to finish the Art Direction and Copywriting Programs in 14 months?
It’s best to follow the program through in it’s entirety, so we don’t recommend taking a break once you’re enrolled. But, life is unpredictable and we are happy to make it work for you based on your circumstances even if it takes you a bit longer to complete the program.
Can I hold down a job while I am enrolled?
We get it, Denver can kinda suck when you’re flat broke. A part-time job is totally cool, however we don’t necessarily recommend working full-time. Classes are held in the evenings Monday-Thursday, but you’ll need to set aside time during the day all week long to work on campaign assignments with your partners. Your portfolio is a direct result of the time and effort you put into it, so if you think your schedule can allow for total commitment to your portfolio then we’re happy to have you.
Will DAD help with job placement?
Our industry connections run wide and deep. All of our teachers come from the top agencies in Denver and Boulder, which makes working directly with the best creatives in Colorado on a weekly basis an awesome networking opportunity. Even better, though, our recruiting connections span both coasts so when you’re done here the best agencies all across the country will have the opportunity to see your portfolio.
You’ll also receive weekly super secret, DAD alumni-only newsletters with industry news, job opportunities, and other cool stuff. Our job is to get you a job, so the door never closes. For as long as you want after you’re done here, you can keep calling, texting, emailing, and sending up signal flares until you find a job you love. Yep, this is a forever type of thing.
What is the difference between a Copywriter an Art Director?
Basically, Copywriters are good with words and Art Directors are good with visuals. Copywriters are generally (not always) responsible for crafting the big idea or story behind a campaign, but good Art Directors can also help with this if they like. Copywriters write headlines, scripts, taglines — lots of words, basically — while Art Directors make decisions about visuals, photography, typography, colors, etc.
What is the difference between an Art Director and a Designer?
Generally, Art Directors handle the bigger idea while Designers are great at the smallest details. Art Directors make decisions about visuals, photography, typography, colors, etc. Then Designers take the Art Director’s vision and they execute it, dealing with smaller decisions like type kerning, photo re-touching, and other fine art points. Designers are often better artists, whereas Art Directors are more focused on the conceptual side. At bigger agencies the roles are distinctly separate, but often smaller agencies ask their Art Directors to be good designers, as well.
What does a Strategist/Planner do?
Planners go by many names — Strategists, Insight Directors, Strategic Planners. Their efforts lay the groundwork that allows creatives to create a campaign. Planners research, identify consumer insights, develop marketing strategies, write creative briefs, and collaborate with art directors and copywriters before and during the creative ideation and execution. Basically, Planners are cultural anthropologists who find the human truths that fuel the big ideas behind ad campaigns.
Can I switch to another program if I change my mind?
Sure, as long as you decide by the end of your first quarter we’re cool with you switching.
Is DAD approved by the Colorado Department of Education?
Why are you not accredited? Why does that matter?
We’re approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Education, but not nationally accredited. Universities and colleges need to be accredited so they can offer financial aid, transfer credits to other schools, and a whole bunch of other things that don’t really apply to us. We chose to not be nationally accredited so we can be more nimble than traditional schools. A few perks of this include the ability to enhance our curriculum more often to stay current with the industry, having the freedom to teach more relevant classes that aren’t beholden to outdated education standards and practices that don’t apply to the agency world, and much more. We’re not your typical broad college program — and we think that’s a good thing. Ultimately this allows us to be more focused and better equipped to prepare you to enter the advertising industry.
Does DAD offer financial aid?
We may in the future, but we do not currently work with any private vocational school lenders. However, we purposefully kept DAD competitively priced so if you’re looking for further assistance we recommend discussing financing options with your bank.
How much do the programs cost and how do I pay?
The Art Direction and Copywriting Programs are $14,000. We ask that you pay this in 4 installments, one at the start of each quarter. The 11 week Strategic Planning Program is $5,000. We ask you pay this amount in full at the start of the quarter. The total costs include tuition plus a $100 application fee and a $30 building keycard fee. We accept credit cards, personal checks or a briefcase full of cash.
I still have questions!