Art directors are responsible for the visual style of magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.
Most of these artistic professionals are self-employed. However, some work for advertising and public relations firms, publishers and at design firms.
How to Become One
To become an Art director, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design. More importantly, you’ll need work experience to get you into this management role. People who are promoted to this job often start out as graphic artists, photographers, or writers.
The median annual wage for this job was $94,220 in May 2019.
Employment of art directors is projected to decline 2 percent from 2019 to 2029.
As traditional print publications lose ground to other media forms, employment of art directors is projected to decrease in the newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers industry.
Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.
Affirmations for Art Directors
- I communicate concepts visually.
- My love language is layout and design.
- I manage graphic designers and my design staff with compassion.
- I coach others to see my overall vision.
- My artistic approach always puts people first.
- I have an infinite abundance of creativity.
- When my mind is still, then inspiration flows.
- Working as a team revs up my creativity.
Art Director Personality Type ESFP
The Star personality type, who is also called the Virtuoso and the Performer is a natural fit for this artistic career. The ESFP wants to work with people and ideas, not data and machines. They are also drawn to the arts for the self-expression factor. As an art director, you have to be good with people and be lighthearted enough not to kill the creative vibe.
This Career Interests Artistic and Enterprising
This job as an art director appeals to people with artistic and enterprising career interests.
Artistic jobs involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
While enterprising occupations involve starting up and carrying out projects. These jobs can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
If you are looking for a job that gives you freedom, allows you to set and reach goals and has good working conditions, this could be a job match for you. The work also involves being part of a team most of the time. As a result, you should be good at working with people who have differing points of view.
Art Director Job Description
They oversee the work of other designers and artists who produce images for television, film, live performances, advertisements, or video games.
They determine the overall style in which a message is communicated visually to its audience.
For each project, they articulate their vision to artists. As a result, the artists create images, such as illustrations, graphics, photographs, or charts and graphs, or design stage and movie sets.
An art director works with art and design staffs in advertising agencies, public relations firms, or book, magazine, or newspaper publishing to create designs and layouts.
They also work with producers and directors of theater, television, or movie productions to oversee set designs.
Their work requires them to understand the design elements of projects, inspire other creative workers, and keep projects on budget and on time. Sometimes they are responsible for developing budgets and timelines.
Other Titles for AD
- Art Director
- Art Supervisor
- Creative Director
- Creative Guru
- Design Director
- Director of Creative Services
- Consumer Products
- Group Art Supervisor
- Production Manager
- Senior Art Director
You Work in Different Industries
Advertising and PR
In advertising and public relations, you would ensure that you clients’ desired message and image are conveyed to consumers.
Art directors are responsible for the overall visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and coordinate the work of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers.
In publishing you would typically oversee the page layout of catalogs, newspapers, or magazines.
You would also choose the cover art for books and periodicals. Often, this work includes publications for the Internet, so art directors oversee production of the websites used for publication.
In movie production, you would collaborate with directors to determine what sets will be needed for the film and what style or look the sets should have. They hire and supervise a staff of assistant art directors or set designers to complete designs.
Jobs With Similar Duties
Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Read more
Fashion designers create clothing, accessories, and footwear. Read more
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. Read more
Multimedia Artists and Animators
Multimedia artists and animators create images that appear to move and visual effects for various forms of media and entertainment. Read more
Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images. Read more
Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media. Read more
For ADs in advertising, public relations, or publishing, visit:
For more information about ADs in film and television, visit:
Information about this career is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Art Directors.