No matter whether you decide to have a career as a Copywriter or Art Director, The Book Shop is designed to teach you how to come up with great creative concepts. There are eight classes total in the program (the 6th class in the series is for writers only and the 7th is for Art Directors only and the 8th class is an optional course on Digital/Interactive Creative). Each class runs for a semester that goes for nine weeks (except both Art Direction & Digital are 6 week classes), meeting one night a week, which will be determined depending on our teachers’ schedules (classes are held on a week night Monday-Thursday from 7-10pm, we don’t teach Fridays or weekends). There are four semesters a year: fall (starts mid to late September), winter (starts mid to late January), spring (starts mid April) and summer (starts late June).

If your goal is to finish a portfolio, we advise that you complete the first 5 or 6 classes. Each class is designed to prepare you for the next. So any single class will not be enough to build the kind of portfolio you’ll need to get a job in today’s market.

Please note: If your goal is to become an Art Director, you MUST know how to use all of the current design programs.  If you are not familiar with them, you definitely need to take a course outside of The Book Shop to learn these programs in and out.  You will also be required to know how to do basic layout design before going into Teams.  We will be offering a shorter, 6 week course to Art Directors in Art Direction/Layout so that you can be fully prepared.  This course will be available starting at the Advanced One level and should be taken in conjunction with your other current class.


  • introduction

  • intermediate

  • advanced one

  • advanced two

  • teams

  • copy

  • art direction

  • digital creative

Next semester starts week of:



Introduction Concept

This course is a hands-on workshop that teaches the differences between ads that work and those that don’t and why. Each student will receive weekly assignments to work on and bring in for critiques each week in an effort to better understand what makes an ad memorable and unique. There are in-class exercises to help the creative process and also some class teamwork. By the end of this nine-week course, you will have an understanding of how the creative process works and a good start towards ads that stand out from the rest, which will prepare you for the Intermediate level class.

Intermediate Concept

The intermediate class takes it up a notch by introducing you to campaign work. You will be given your own individual products/services to work on for the whole semester. Again, each week you will bring in your ads and they will be discussed and critiqued. Because campaigns are an important part of building a portfolio, this class begins to really push and prepare you to do better advertising in an effort to start building your books.

Advanced One Concept

By the time you reach the Advanced One workshop, you have been working hard on campaigns and have a full understanding of the concepting/creative process and what makes an ad strong. In this course, you will continue to build your portfolios with more individualized campaign work and also will be introduced to integrated ideas (such as digital, social and other types) to start to round out your portfolio. The critiques in this class are designed to really push your thinking so that your ads begin to cut through. From the Advanced One class, you will be ready for the second class in the Advanced series, Advanced Two Concept.

Advanced Two Concept

This course elevates your thinking further with the toughest critiques that are designed to give you a strong portfolio and ready you for the Teams level class. You will continue campaign work and also integrated thinking (such as digital, social and other types) gaining more pieces for your portfolio and will work with a partner to prepare you for the Teams level course.


In the Teams class, you will be either working with a partner or in small groups (which is sometimes the case in agencies now).  The entire semester, you work with your partner/group on the assignments given just to you as a team. This class is very intense and requires a lot of time outside of just class time. Everything you have learned up until this course will come together in Teams, as you work on fully integrated campaigns and big ideas for your portfolio. You and your partner/groups will set up time to meet during the week to work on getting the best ads possible. (Some students choose to repeat this course in order to continue to have the weekly discipline they need to finish their books.)

Copy (Writers Only)

This class is only offered once a year and takes writers from the Advanced One and Advanced Two classes and Teams class and teaches them how to zone in on the body copy in their ads for their portfolios. Learning to write smart, focused copy really elevates your ad concepts. Writing breakthrough radio commercials is also taught. It can be taken in conjunction with whatever other level class you are in (Advanced One, Two or Teams). Note: This class is ONLY for those who have completed the above mentioned courses or enrolled in at the same time.  It is for writers who have taken or are taking our other concept courses, as it focuses on actual body copy in ads and writing radio spots.

6-Week Art Direction Crash Course (Art Directors Only)

This class will also be offered to Art Directors from the Advanced One & Two classes and teaches them how to create attention-getting layouts from their ad campaigns for their portfolios. Students will learn how to decide whether to design a spread or single page ad, how to design other types of ads, what type style/font to use, which visuals will work best in the layouts and all about balance and design for their campaigns. Most students can take this class along with the other class they are in (Advanced One or Two), as it is 6 weeks and on a different night of the week from other classes. This class is now required to get into Teams, for any Art Director students who have not had previous layout design classes elsewhere.



6-Week Digital Creative

With so much advertising taking place online, we wanted to offer a course that is open to both Copywriters and Art Directors that can teach them how to come up with ideas and ads in the interactive arena. With a solid foundation in creative thinking from the Introductory and Intermediate courses, this class will be offered to students who have either completed or are currently enrolled in Advanced One, Advanced Two or Teams level classes. It is one of the only classes in the program that you can take in conjunction with one of the above named courses (i.e. you can be signed up for Advanced One, Two or Teams and also Digial in the same semester, though make room in your schedule for added work).


In this workshop, you will learn how “big ideas” and technology play a collaborative role in the development of compelling digital advertising as you concept on assignments for display campaigns, branded microsites, rich media banners and harnessing the power of social media.