General Questions

I am a graphic designer, digital designer or graphic design student; do I need to start with the first class, Introductory Workshop?

We actually have had many Graphic Design professionals or students in our classes. Because design is different than an Art Director’s job at an ad agency, from our past experience, Designers need to learn the concepting process required to be an ad agency Art Director or even just to have added concept skills for their current jobs. Therefore we recommend the Introductory Workshop. However, if you have had some concept classes elsewhere, you may be ready to start at the Intermediate level. Only you can determine this, but be sure to make the choice based on your prior education so that you start with the right level for you. You need to have created ads (not just designs or logos) and had constructive critiques from an instructor.

I’ve taken some advertising concept courses at other schools; do I need to start with the Introductory Workshop?

This will greatly depend on the courses you took. Some students who have only taken one class elsewhere felt lost going right into Intermediate. Others who had taken several other outside concept classes were ready for Intermediate or Advanced level workshops. Again, only you can decide this based on your previous course experience. Some college advertising departments only offer marketing type courses or just briefly cover creative concept ad courses so unless you have taken other classes that have allowed you to work on ad campaigns and be critiqued by an instructor, you should start at the Introductory Workshop. If however, you have had other classes where you worked on and learned about campaigns and had constructive critiques, you may be ready to start at Intermediate or Advanced level workshops.

I’m not sure if I want to be a Copywriter or an Art Director. Will this course help me determine that? And what is the difference really?

The Book Shop is designed to teach both Copywriters and Art Directors how to concept and come up with ads to build a portfolio so that either can get a job. However, you will need to determine which career path you feel more comfortable with at some point early on. Because even though you will be learning how to concept in general (which both Art Directors and Copywriters need to know), it branches off into different specialties after that. Art Directors and Copywriters work as a team to concept on the idea. Then, Art Directors design the layouts for print ads, websites, banners etc. and know all about various typestyles, layout skills and work with photographers and Directors to get a finished produced ad or commercial. Writers are required to write the body copy in ads, write the radio commercials, and help cast and record with radio talent. And though both often work on the “Headlines” since it’s part of the overall concept, the writer is required to finish the rest of the writing for the ad.

Do I need to know how to use various computer programs?

Yes. Copywriters should know how to work in word programs and Art Directors must know the ins and outs of Photoshop, In Design, Illustrator and various other design and layout programs. So if you want to be an Art Director and don’t know the computer, you should take computer classes in conjunction with The Book Shop online courses. Many local colleges offer these courses.

I own a business and would love to be able to do my own advertising. Will these classes help me to learn how to accomplish that?

Yes. Though these courses are designed more around building an actual portfolio to get a job at an ad agency, these courses will also allow you to learn how to write ads for your business.

What if my question was not answered here?

Our “Contact Us” tab will allow you to fill in a form for any other questions not answered by reading through our site. But please help us out and do read thorugh our whole site before asking, as we may have answered it for you already!


Website Questions

Do I need to create an account to take a course?

When you sign up, you’ll be asked to create a username/password for an account. This will be the information you use to track your progress in the course you signed up for. Also, you can use this account to sign up for a new course, once you’ve finished with your current one. Within your account, you can access your past invoices, as well as click “Edit Profile” to change your password, name, etc.

When does the next lesson become available to me? And how long do I have to complete all the lessons in a particular course?

Each lesson in a course becomes available every 7 days, so you can’t rush ahead. But you can catch up if you’re behind in a week’s lesson. It’s important to pace yourself and absorb the information you learn for each week. However, in order to start the next lesson you need to complete the previous week’s lesson (ex: you can’t move on to “Week 2” until you’ve marked “Week 1” as completed which you will do after receiving feedback from your Instructor). Once you sign up for a class (called “Membership” on the site sometimes), you have 77 days to complete the course (that works out to be approximately two and a half months, similar to our in-person classes). If you haven’t finished all of your courses within that amount of time, your course will expire and you won’t be able to access it anymore.

Can I go back and review a previous lesson?

As long as you are within 77 days of the day you signed up, you can go back and review a completed week as many times as you’d like.

What devices or browsers can I use to take the courses?

Our courses, the videos, and other content should work on desktops (Mac or PC), laptops, tablets, and smartphones. As long as you’re using the latest version of any major browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE), you should have no trouble using the site. So be sure to keep all of your devices updated.

What are the basic requirements I need for the site?

There are some requirements you need in order to make this website work, but they are standard on all basic browsers and computers. However, please make sure javascript is enabled since that is one of the main coding languages used on our site. If you are not sure what this means, please check with someone who does and can help you.

Some of the courses aren’t displaying correctly.

If you’re using the most recent version of your browser, javascript is enabled, and you’re logged in and accessing a course you’re still signed up for, then you may need to empty your cache. The “cache” are temporary files your browser uses, which sometimes make websites show up incorrectly. To empty the cache on your specific browser, simply do a search online for instructions. For example: “empty cache Safari” or “empty cache Firefox”. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to delete all your cookies. Google “delete cookies Safari”, for example, to find out how. If that doesn’t work, then you may need to try another browser. In the end if nothing works, a tech support consultant may be of some help.

How do I use the “zip” files that download?

The handouts we give you are packaged in a file called a “zip” file. To unzip them on a Mac or PC, just double click them and they will automatically open, creating a folder of the same name, containing the downloaded files. If you’re having trouble, you can install the free Stuffit Expander (Mac or Windows), which should work. Otherwise, please contact your local tech support for assistance.