Art Directors lead creative teams to make commercial advertisements for television, print, radio and digital venues as well as other marketing collateral. This includes leading teams of artists in creating the most memorable advertisements – from Super Bowl commercials to beautiful display ads – for some of the largest companies in the world.
When it comes to commercial art, the buck really does stop with the art director. Art director positions oversee selection of talent such as Photographers, Graphic Designers and Illustrators. The Art Director is ultimately responsible for the management and output of these teams and for any touch up art work; if the ad comes back with a blemish, the Art Director corrects the problem.
An art directing job includes being responsible for bringing together top creative talent to come up with the theme of an ad campaign. Together, they’ll make the client’s vision a reality.
Art Director Skills Needed
Art Directors should be creative and on top of the latest industry and cultural trends. They must have strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to lead teams and interact with clients. Art Directors must have a good sense of color and design because they often create the first rough sketch of the concept for their client to approve. Once the design is approved, the Art Director unleashes a creative team on the project. The Art Director must know at least a small amount about the computer design process and photography in order to guide the team to their best effort.
In a television ad the Art Director serves as a casting director, finding the right look and feel for actors and sets. An Art Director can handle the, sometimes delicate, artistic temperaments of creative teams. The role requires a strong but non-aggressive leadership style, as they ultimately control the use of time and resources during the creative process; and they must also stay within budget.
Understanding the goals of the client while being driven by a complex timeline of tasks, requires finesse as well as stress management and organizational skills. Collaboration and teamwork are key to this role.
Suggested Software Proficiency
The Art Director should be moderately proficient in all of the typical programs used by a creative department or agency, including graphic design programs, client billing systems and project management software.
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