Art director job description
An art director is responsible for the overall look and feel of a design project - from the concept through to how it is executed aesthetically.
This means their tasks and duties often include examining briefs with an accompanying copywriter or other team members, then from there generating ideas to present to the client. Once a concept is signed off, the art director will then work directly on designs to produce the most effective intended message. Sometimes this involves commissioning the services of other creative specialists - like illustrators, stylists, photographers, videographers to work on the given project.
Magazine art director job description
The art director at a magazine is the person who manages everything related to imagery, artwork and layout/format - essentially the entire visual style of the publication.
Graphic design art director job description
In advertising and PR agencies, art directors are responsible for the visual aspects of a client project. They may well manage other design staff and need to coordinate all the image related elements, while often working closely with a copywriter and the account manager to ensure the desired message is unified and creatively and clearly communicated.
Movie art director job description
An art director working on a film, TV production, commercial or anything videographic carries out the creative vision of the director and production designer in terms of sets, locations, props and maybe even costumes. Plus they could also be involved in some elements of the post-production stage as the look, feel and general artistic narrative of the film/show/clip/ad is refined and edited.
Assistant art director job description
An assistant art director is a prime support role to an art director. Depending on the size of the company, team and/or project in question they will probably work in a more administrative role, coordinating the various creative aspects that need to come together for the project.
Interactive art director job description
An interactive art director typically sits somewhere between the graphic designers and web developer on a digital project. They will often take charge of the market research, product development and design, working closely with the other stakeholders to create and maintain the style and functionality of the product or service.
What is the difference between an art director and a creative director?
An art director tends to be a more directly hands-on role, executing a concept that the creative director has usually conceived or at least approved. The latter sets the strategy for the project and acts as a brand custodian of sorts.
Art director qualifications
Most art directors will have some sort of qualification in an art or design discipline. Many study graphic design / visual communications at a bachelor level and then choose which sector of the industry to pursue their career in, which in turn shapes the type of art director they become.
What to study to become an art director?
See our full list of art direction courses here.