Go ahead — try to keep up with Nathan Thornton’s mind and mouth. (You can if you take his class at Columbus College of Art & Design.) He’s a creative who runs a mile a minute. We managed to slow him down long enough to get some insight about why CCAD grads are a hot commodity at Columbus’ own Ologie, the branding, marketing, and digital agency where he’s the executive creative director.
What does Ologie love about CCAD students? “I’m impressed with how much they understand the world of branding. What we do is so far beyond making ads,” Thornton said. He also loves that adjunct faculty (representing some of Columbus’ diverse selection of agencies) expose CCAD students to real-world scenarios long before graduation.
How many people at Ologie have ties to CCAD? “We work with a lot of alums and current students, too. It’s a benefit of having a college of art and design down the street. We’ve had a lot of kids do internships here,” he said. Of Ologie’s 80 employees, about half are creatives and about a dozen of them have a CCAD connection.
One thing he loves about Ologie: “This is a place where good ideas can come from anywhere. Good copy ideas can come from designers. Anyone’s voice is able to be heard here,” Thornton said. “When young people come in and they can be a little timid about sharing their ideas, I would always, always encourage them to do so. People can feel unafraid and unashamed.”
Pro tip for interns: Do more. “You can do really well in an internship if you do whatever is handed to you and do just that. But you won’t necessarily get noticed,” he said. “The really memorable interns are the people who get the most out of their internships. They insert themselves into situations. There is so much more to creative life than working in InDesign all day.”
Nathan Thornton’s 3 Rules of Making a Great Personal Brand
1.Be interesting. “The most important thing you can be in the world is interesting. The hardest thing in the world is to capture someone’s attention. If you can get someone to say, ‘Take a look at this,’ you’ve done over half your work.”
2.“Make an emotional connection so people care about what you have to say. Most decisions are based on a feeling.”
3.“Say something real so people believe what you have to say.”