Tag Archives: layout

The Ad That Never Was

A number of years ago, The Art Director’s Club of Houston had a show that was not judged; you just submitted and up it went. The theme of the show (can’t remember the official title) was work that never saw the light of day. Your best work that never got used. Maybe the concept got killed, the company went out of business, whatever. It was an opportunity to show work that you felt was good, but for whatever reason, it was never used.

That show came to mind recently after I completed an assignment for my good friend Don Goodell, at Edge Creative here in Houston.

While I am generally know as a people/location photographer, Don entrusted me with what was basically a tabletop, product-type of image, albeit with at least one person in there.

I thought it was a pretty clever concept, and I loved the challenge of putting the pieces   together.

Here is the original layout, with the client information “redacted,” as they say in Washington.















So I went to my bank and got $300.00 in various denominations, and went about putting together folded groups of bill, with different bills on the outside, and folded them in different thicknesses, taping them together on the interior, and photographed them at various angles. After processing in Lightroom, I opened them in Photoshop and made selections. I then started picking individual elements and arranged them as I went, trying to piece together shots that would fit together. When I found I was missing a crucial angle, I photographed more elements. The finished Photoshop document had more than 60 layers, and there were highlight and shadow adjustments to be made, color desaturation and adjusting, and of course my figure of Don, with his shadow added. Here is the finished product.


I thought we had done a pretty reasonable job, and Don seemed please, and presented the final comp to the client.  So, what happened?

Well, although a representative of the company had signed off on the creative, it ended up being presented to multiple people, and the “management by committee” process reared its ugly head. And the thought process that a CPA firm could never hint at “shades of gray,” having to instead present a message of “black and white, no ambiguity,” eventually won out. So although I was paid, what I thought was a pretty creative business-to-business ad has never been seen. Until now, of course. At the very least it was a great exercise for me, and required me to step outside of my comfort zone and tackle a project normally outside my realm. And I will leave it to you to judge the results.  Thanks for looking…..