One thing you probably won’t learn in portfolio school is how to use vendors. Why would you? You’re either pulling stock photography or using your own amateur pictures and illustrations. Once you get a job, that will change.

Vendors include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Directors
  • Editors
  • Recording studios
  • Music houses
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers
  • Retouchers

When you get a job, I’d encourage you to familiarize yourself with the vendors your agency uses. But also ask about the local and regional vendors the agency doesn’t use, and why they don’t use them. It could be because of quality, price, or maybe that’s just they way they’ve been doing them. In any event, it’s good to know.

You need to be a strong conceptual thinker. You need to know your own craft. But if you’re a copywriter, you also need to know which sound engineer you prefer. And if you’re an art director, you should have a list of illustrators you’d love to work with.

Here are just a few of my favorites I’ve worked with over the years:

White House
Red Car

Oink Ink

Directors/Production Companies:

Beta Petrol

Voice Talent:
Tom Kane
Harlan Hogan
Bill Rohlfing

Webby Stuff:
Imaginary Forces

Never worked with but would like to:
Asche & Spencer (music)
Olivo Barbieri (photography)
Rocky Schenck (photography)

(The nice thing about vendors is if you’re a frequent user, they usually send you some nice swag around the holidays. Of the four iPods I’ve owned, three have come from vendors.)

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