Career Spotlight: Art Director

Courtesy: cdn.visualnews.com
Courtesy: cdn.visualnews.com
Courtesy: cdn.visualnews.com

Art Directors are responsible for formulating designs and making the design a consistent one to protect the brand image across different media such as print, advertising and broadcasting. They supervise the layout designs produced by aspiring junior artists. The entire design, layout, photographs, patterns are all decided by the art director so that the content published is eye-catching and appeals to the readers. They are also responsible for checking the authenticity of work created. They work very closely with the technical team that digitizes the artwork created.

Typically an art director should possess the following skills:

  • Creative – Ability to create new ideas, patterns, applications.
  • Computer Skills – Lots of new computer software have been developed. Should have a workable knowledge of related software.
  • Decision Making – Should be able to make critical decisions like the layout design captures the brand image.
  • Good communication skills – They act as a liaison between the clients and the design team.
  • Good negotiating skills – Should be aware of the market prices and should be able to negotiate with the printing and advertising agencies.
  •  Time Management – Since there would be multiple projects running simultaneously, they should be able to plan and manage time and speed up delivery when required.

Typically a Bachelors degree in Art is a must and it provides a learning point for aspiring art directors. Depending on the career choice, one could enroll for pure fine arts that teaches English, poetry, natural science to studio art and history of art. Or one could also choose arts management that teaches finance and project management with art. The recommended education level is illustrated below:

Courtesy: www.campusexplorer.com
Courtesy: www.campusexplorer.com

James Fenton, is a famous designer and art director based out of UK. He is the founder of BlimpCreative, which excels in art design for various companies. He says, “An art director should inspire, mentor and guide those you lead. Also an art director should be creative, should have good management capabilities, should be able to critique the works of art, should have good communication skills and should be able to work within the budget given”.

The website money.usnew.com says that art directors are mostly needed in the metropolitan cities of NewYork, Los Angeles, SanFrancisco, Richmond,VA and  Nashville,TN . The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the annual wages for art directors was $88,880 in May 2012. The salary split according to the industry is as follows:

Courtesy: www.bls.gov
Courtesy: www.bls.gov

The BLS also states that the employment of art director job is expected to grow at 3 % between 2012-2022 than the average for other occupations.

Courtesy: www.bls.gov
Courtesy: www.bls.gov

This is definitely a very good career for those who have their creative side alive and who are passionate in creating designs and art with strong project management skills.

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