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What does an Art Director do?

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

An art director is a professional within the advertising, marketing, or publishing industries who oversees the creation and execution of visual concepts. These concepts may appear in the form of advertising, packaging, photography, websites, or any other type of visual media.

Art Director job duties include:

  • Overseeing the artistic development of a project
  • Managing a team of artists and designers
  • Approving final art and designs
  • Working with clients to develop an artistic vision for a project
  • Brainstorming with team members to generate creative ideas
  • Creating storyboards or other visual aids to communicate concepts
  • Reviewing proposals from outside vendors
  • Monitoring the budget for an art or design project
  • Coordinating with other departments or personnel to ensure smooth execution of a project

Art Director Job Requirements

An Art Director typically has a bachelor's degree in graphic design, fine art, or a related field. Many Art Directors also have a master's degree or certification in their field. An Art Director must have several years of experience in graphic design, advertising, or a related field before they can be considered for the position.

Art Director Skills

  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Budgeting
  • Planning
  • Delegation
  • Teamwork
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership

Related: Top Art Director Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Art Director

There are many paths to becoming an art director. Some people start out as graphic designers, while others may have a background in fine arts. No matter what your starting point is, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of becoming an art director.

First, it’s important to develop your skills as a visual communicator. This means being able to effectively communicate ideas and concepts through visuals. You should be able to create strong compositions, use color effectively, and have a good understanding of typography. If you’re not already proficient in these areas, consider taking some classes or workshops to improve your skills.

In addition to honing your visual skills, it’s also important to develop your ability to lead and manage teams of creatives. As an art director, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the work of other designers, illustrators, and copywriters. This means being able to give clear direction, provide feedback, and manage deadlines and budgets. If you don’t have much experience leading teams, consider taking some management courses or volunteering to lead projects in your current job.

Finally, it’s helpful to build up a strong portfolio that showcases your skills as a visual communicator and leader. When you’re ready to apply for jobs as an art director, make sure to include examples of your best work in your portfolio. Include both individual projects and collaborative pieces that demonstrate your ability to produce high-quality work under pressure.

If you follow these steps and focus on developing your skills as a visual communicator and leader, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an art director.

Related: Art Director Resume Example

Related: Art Director Interview Questions (With Example Answers)