Art & Copy

The Best Quotes from Advertising’s Biggest Legends

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Art & Copy (directed by Doug Pray) is a documentary about the world of advertising. It reveals the inspirational stories behind some of the most influential creatives and campaigns of our time. 

Here are our 10 favourite quotes from Art & Copy


Quote 1
“The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a ‘creative person’ is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from, really. And especially, you don’t have any idea about where they’re gonna come from tomorrow.”
– Hal Riney
Quote 2
“I think most creative people are so damn insecure that they want to think they know everything, but they know deep in their hearts they’re just in deep trouble from the minute they get up in the morning.”
– Dan Wieden
Quote 3
“I don’t think any organization or any career succeeds if there isn’t a godly amount of old-fashioned love involved, and a deep sense of affection for each other and the people you work with.”
– Dan Wieden
Quote 4
“I happen to believe that when advertising is done well, the wall or the billboard that celebrates a brand artfully and beautifully can be part of our culture as opposed to some form of pollution.”
– Lee Clow
Quote 5
“This is my mantra right here, okay, see? ‘Brutal Simplicity.’ I’ve asked people to please simplify their ideas.”
– Rich Silverstein
Quote 6
“It’s gotta be something more than just paid art. It’s got to be bigger than that. It’s a way for big, soulless corporations to actually have a personality and to interact with people in a (hopefully) meaningful way.”
– Jeff Goodby
Quote 7
“There’s nothing you can learn from a failure. If you sit there with a failure, and try to figure out how you failed, you just fucked yourself. You’re out of business because all of a sudden it’s ‘George, be careful.’”
– George Lois
Quote 8
“People don’t mind being sold to if they understand why it’s happening and they enjoy the process. At the same time, y’know, I would hope that people understand that brands can be dangerous. They’re like a TV channel that immediately your body locks into, and if you like them, you’ll listen. You’re like a dog waiting to have something happen, and it’s a dangerous kind of attention and it can be abused. Now I think the biggest abuse is jpeople just treating other people like idiots. Y’know, they treat them like they don’t have a good sense of humor; they treat them like they’re stupider than the advertisers. That’s the biggest crime.”
– Jeff Goodby
Quote 9
“If you can find that kernel, the core of what that product is, so that when you talk about it, no matter how you talk about it, people respond and say, ‘Yes, that’s right!’ then if you talk about it in a strong, interesting, memorable way, they say ‘Yeah, that’s right. I’m gonna buy it.’”
– Jim Durfee
Quote 10
“I think creativity can solve anything. Anything. ANYTHING!”
– George Lois
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Interested in learning more? Dive into the world of advertising and watch the full documentary below.

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Darnell Toth
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