What's your favourite depiction of creative industries in film and television?

I'm fascinated by how TV and film writers depict graphic designers in media; the absolutely batshit ideas they have about what we do and how we do it. Currently watching a great example in My Liberation Notes, in which one of the main characters is part of a design department and her art director's notes are to emphasise something already emphasised and just crossing out loads of client-provided copy. Especially fascinated by this frame, in which the workstation pictured is of someone just laying out out layers of placeholder text.

So, what's your favourite depiction of your industry in TV and film? Either because it's actually good or because, like this, it's just so ridiculous?


  • Mad Men obviously, but also Good Girls Revolt, that it's more about the role of female journalists working in a fictional magazine in the late 60s (based on Newsweek magazine). There are lot of scenes where the Art Director choses the images and the covers and it was fascinating because it was a time of political and social changes and being part of that would have been very exciting indeed.
  • Even though I am not in Advertising and the realms of Graphic Design that I work in are entirely different in outlook, time period and projects, I always loved the way that Mad Men approached the creative process through its characters, a very obvious answer I'm sure, but one of my favourite TV shows ever!

    Also, if you haven't had chance to watch the series 'Abstract' on Netflix which follows different areas of creativity like Paula Scher in Graphic Design and Jonathan Hoefler in Typography, however ones I knew nothing about were even more fascinating, highly reccomend for any creatives needing inspiration and outlooks into other creative avenues.
  • Not specifically graphics but…

    I saw The Fountainhead with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal when I was about 14 and the creativity of the lead character blew me away - as well as his individual spirit and vision (now all I see are the dodgy politics) and more recently there was a drama series on BBC called Attachments that was supposed to be an adult soap opera based in the early online arts and social media community - it was already hopelessly out of date by the time it was broadcast but the toxic office politics reminded me of every bad in-house experience I’d ever had.

    The introduction of Colin the gay graphic designer in Eastenders with terrible taste in ties created a bit of tension between me and my family but probably my favourite graphic design / commercial artist is Gene Tierney in Laura - trying to sell beautifully rendered but poorly thought through advertising.

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