FPO Comp Art for Green Giant

Green Giant FPO Art

Green Giant FPO Comp Art Illustration for CPC IntersectGreen Giant FPO Comp Art Illustration for CPC IntersectLast fall I was hired by one of my regular clients, CPC Intersect, to create some FPO comp art to promote a new line of potato chips from Green Giant (which is owned by General Mills). CPC Intersect specializes in “event marketing”. They excel at creating fun, creative events designed to help raise awareness of new products and services. They always blow me away with their ideas and their projects are always fun to work on.

Above are a few of several sketches I worked up to help visualize a few ideas for the Green Giant launch. After I colored the first one, the client requested that I hold back a bit and just stick with mostly b&w for the rest of the sketches.


Fuze Marker Comps For CPC Intersect

Fuze Fruit NinjaFuze Face Game

CPC Intersect is a local agency that specialize in event marketing (or experience marketing as it’s called in some circles). They work with a lot of big brands, helping them to design fun interactive events to help promote their products. Sometimes they’ll hire me to whip up a quick sketch or two to help pitch an idea. In the past I’ve helped them out with projects for Coke Zero, Dasani, Del Monte, General Mills, and Fuzik.

Recently they hired me to help pitch some ideas to promote FUZE brand fruit drinks. They asked for b&w line art only. Here’s a couple of the images I did for them. Back in the day they used to call these “marker comps” but since I work 100% digitally and don’t use real markers any more I’m not sure what to call them.

Click on the images to see a larger version.

Comp Art For Best Buy Pitch

Last month I was hired by Minneapolis ad agency Olson-Denali to work up some color comps for a pitch to Best Buy. They wanted to suggest some possible photography ideas built around a specific theme. The left third of each image was left open for insertion of text.

The deadline was tight—actual working turnaround was about 24 hours.

Eventually Best Buy decided to go another direction, but in this business that’s pretty common. It was still a lot of fun and I’m grateful to Olson-Denali for the opportunity.

Best Buy comp art-kitchen

Best Buy comp art-office

New! Download My Comp Art PDF Portfolio

I regularly get hired by ad agencies to create “comp art”—rough sketches (sometimes color, sometimes not) designed to help them pitch their ideas to their clients. My artwork has been presented to clients such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, 3M, and Chef Boyardee. Examples are of course posted on my website. Now you can also download selected samples of my comp art as a PDF. If you need something to print out and bring to a meeting, or if you want something simple to email to a colleague, this should fill the bill. One more way I’m trying to make life just a little easier for my potential clients.

Marker Comp for a Target Pitch

Several times a year I am called on by local ad agencies to do marker comps. “Marker comp” is an industry term leftover from the days before computers. Back then if an agency wanted to pitch an idea to a client they would sometimes bring in an illustrator, plop him in front of a drawing board stacked with paper and markers, describe what they had in mind, and then ask him to quickly do some color sketches of their ideas to show the client. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. It’s much more effective to sell an expensive idea to a client by showing them what you have in mind rather than by trying to describe it in words alone.

Today most of the artwork is done digitally.  I usually do comps in my studio on the Cintiq and then deliver them via email (although I do own a portable Cintiq that allows me to work on-site if needed). Everything is colored in Photoshop rather than with markers on paper. But the term “marker comp” seems to have stuck.

Since everything in the world of advertising has to get done yesterday marker comps are often very rough and done under very tight deadlines. I recently did some black-and-white comps for a client where I only had three hours to sketch eight concepts! That’s a very extreme example but it does happen. If an illustrator can draw fast, draw well, and be creative all at the same time, he or she will be very valuable to an agency.

Usually I am asked to keep my marker comps confidential. There are various reasons for this. Sometimes a client will want to protect their ideas from being stolen by a competitor. Often the agency simply gives all rights to the comps to the end client which leaves me with no control over the art. Other times an agency might not want it to be known that they brought in outside help to work on a project. Whatever the reason, most of the marker comps I do are kept under wraps which makes it a bit of a challenge for me to advertise that service.

Every once in a while a client gives me the “thumbs up” to publicly display something that I’ve done. A few months ago I was hired by a freelance designer who was, in turn, working on a project for a local agency. The idea was to pitch a specific retail display to Target in the hopes that Target would allow them to set it up in their stores. Unfortunately I don’t remember who the end client was or what the product was they wanted to display. I was simply asked to sketch up an area of open shelves in a typical Target store (specifically the “camping/lawn-and-garden” area of the store), and then the designer would fill in the shelves and end cap with some of his display ideas using Photoshop.

The designer gave me a few reference photos and then I drove down to my local target to snap a few more. This was the end result that I submitted to the client. It’s one of the more “neat and tidy” comps I’ve ever done so I’m glad I’m able to add it to my portfolio.