At 24 Seven we work with a lot of Art Directors. The job requires an extensive skill set that goes beyond graphic design chops. Find out all the details below!
Art Director job description:
Art Directors are responsible for unifying the visual expression of a brand or product. The role of an Art Director goes beyond the physical appearance as they think critically about the optimal way to present information to the viewer.
They are usually tasked to create concepts and ideation for various digital and traditional marketing campaigns. A large part of an Art Director’s responsibility is to support marketing teams by bringing ideas to life through creation and execution.
Skills Art Directors need:
As far as actual art and graphic design skills go, Art Directors should be advanced with Mac products, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite with emphasis on Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Bridge says our Director of Full-Time Recruitment, Jesse Kleinow. Typography is also a key component to an Art Director’s skill set and having web design skills is definitely an added bonus.
Art direction also refers to great storytelling. Art Directors should possess the creative ability to tell brand stories that resonate with customers across a variety of industries and mediums. Creative strategy is hugely important according to Jesse. An art Directors skills should go beyond the creative process and they must be able to analyze and optimize campaigns for past, present, and future projects including meeting with stakeholders to understand their needs as well. Because of this Art Directors must be extremely organized with attention to detail.
Art Directors also have to have experience managing a team such, typically of Junior Designers. Jesse adds, managing project timelines through “allocating Designers to the right projects to ensure completion” is imperative.
How to get experience as an Art Director:
One way to get experience as an Art Director is by pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design or fine arts from a credible institution. In addition, Jesse says having 3-7 years of hands on design experience is necessary. During this time you should have been mentoring Junior Designers, sitting in with Art Directors and Creative Directors on strategy meetings, and working on concepting. Previous experience with directing photo shoots, videos, and omnichannel marketing will also suffice.
What hiring managers look for:
Today most hiring managers look for an online portfolio that shows your distinct visual design skills and experience with rich media. Hiring managers want to know your style can reflect the brand’s DNA through layout, design, and typography.
Key components to success:
Collaboration is a major key to success for Art Directors because they often support other departments within the organization. Jesse says delivering what clients want on time and within budget is another component to being a successful Art Director. At the same time, a stand out Art Director pushes the limits of creativity while staying within brand guidelines.
Additional resources to sharpen your skills:
Looking for a job as an Art Director? Browse our openings today.
Don’t forget to check out our other Toolkits HERE.
Written by: Brittany Johnston