This is the first entry into what we hope will become a vast and varied collection of interesting side projects by creatives of all disciplines. All the best creatives have a little something on the side – from one-hit blogs, to semi-professional hobbies, to crazy experiments, and even full-fledged business ideas – we need these side projects to stay sane. To be free and to be fresh and to be properly creative. If you’ve got a side-project you’d like to tell us about, drop us a line at

So let’s begin…

It’s an A4, 55 page, 80gsm, bleed-proof layout pad. With a black border drawn around the edge of every page. Simple as that. As all creatives know, your scamp is not an ad ’til it’s got a black border drawn around it. The Ad Pad simply saves you the minuscule hassle of drawing it.

We spoke to the Ad Pad creators about the idea and what prompted them to get off their backsides and make it happen.

CC: Where did the idea come from?

AP: It came from years of scamping and watching colleagues faff around with borders before they actually get their ideas down. We just thought, why not print the border? So we did.

It’s an idea that had been festering for a while and has taken almost a year to come to fruition, mainly because the three of us were shit-scared to invest our own money on something we couldn’t predict the success of.

CC: So what made you finally do it?

AP: We just felt we knew the market because we were the market. We know the industry reasonably well and have spent most of our careers selling products. It just seemed a natural thing to do.

When you weigh it all up, the worst that can happen is that your idea fails and you lose a bit of money. But what you gain in experience is invaluable when more and more ad agencies are looking for creatives that can think like an entrepreneur. You only have to look at online portfolio sites to see new product and business ideas next to ad campaigns.

It’s the Dragon’s Den/Be Your Own Boss mentality. There’s a lot of money in the right idea. It’s just finding the time to say “Sod it, let’s do it.”

Ben Kay wrote a fantastic piece a couple of years back about advertising creatives ‘needing an out’, an idea that will keep them ticking over after their career.

It’s very early days for us, but the fact that Trevor Beattie and Bill Bungay have ordered The Ad Pad for their agency has already made it all worthwhile.

CC: Is there a reason you’ve chosen to stay largely anonymous?

AP: I guess we just want The Ad Pad to exist in it’s own right. So we haven’t really publicised the fact it’s three creative mates who used to work together.

Interesting stuff. What do you think of the Ad Pad? Do you have something of your own in the works? Let us know.