As a Creative Director, I often wish programmers were designers. And designers were programmers. Unfortunately, it’s rare. I respectfully blame Steve Jobs for the headaches this causes me. Since Jobs created his “anti-Flash” policy, good banner design has been endangered.
Whether you call HTML5 a markup language or a programming language, it requires a totally different mindset and skill set than Flash. Yet to get around Job’s policy, many websites are entertaining the idea of using HTML5 for online banner campaigns, shifting them into the hands of more “coders” and fewer “creatives.” This translates into more utilitarian executions and less visual storytelling.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against programmers. They’re just too left-brained when I’d like them to be right-brained.
Right-brain kids tend to be creative, artsy, and conceptually driven. Their parents push them to go to college for graphic or digital design (so that they can actually pay their rent when they graduate).
Left-brain kids are the “smart” ones; they’re good at math, detail oriented, and analytical. They go to college to become engineers or computer programmers (moms never worry about them). These are the ones who’ll create a secret HTML5 handshake.
This is not to say that hybrids of the two brains don’t exist – those who can both design and code. (Jeff and Byron, I’m talking about you.) But there’s a dearth of them. Yeah, I said dearth.
Once online publications start requiring HTML5 for banners rather than Flash, we’ll basically need two people for every banner ad — one person to design and storyboard it, and a programmer to bring it to life. It’s an added expense, it’s added time, and it will add to everyone’s frustration (except programmers, they’ll be pretty psyched about being more in demand).
Listen, I like online banners. I appreciate them. At db&r, we do loads of them. They can and should be artful, playful, creative, and most importantly, impactful. And I want them to stay that way. But, I fear that the more widely used HTML5 becomes, the less creative banners will become.
Oh, and if you’re a “hybrid,” email us. We’d love to talk to you.
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