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Become An Associate Creative Director

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Working As An Associate Creative Director

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $116,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate Creative Director Do

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.

Duties

Art directors typically do the following: 

  • Determine how best to represent a concept visually
  • Determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use
  • Develop the overall look or style of a publication, an advertising campaign, or a theater, television, or film set
  • Lead graphic designers, set and exhibit designers, or other design staff
  • Review and approve designs, artwork, photography, and graphics developed by other staff members 
  • Talk to clients to develop an artistic approach and style
  • Coordinate activities with other artistic and creative departments
  • Develop detailed budgets and timelines
  • Present designs to clients for approval

Art directors typically 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. The artists then create images, such as illustrations, graphics, photographs, or charts and graphs, or design stage and movie sets, according to the art director’s vision.

Art directors work with art and design staffs in advertising agencies, public relations firms, and book, magazine, or newspaper publishers 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. 

The following are some specifics of what art directors do in different industries:

In publishing, art directors typically oversee the page layout of catalogs, newspapers, or magazines. They 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 advertising and public relations, art directors ensure that their 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 movie production, art directors 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.

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How To Become An Associate Creative Director

Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and previous work experience. Depending on the industry, they may have worked as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, or photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors. 

Education

Many art directors start out in another art-related occupation, such as fine artists or photographers. Work experience in art or design occupations develops an art director’s ability to visually communicate to a specific audience creatively and effectively. They gain the appropriate education for that occupation, usually by earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

To supplement their work experience in those occupations and show their ability to take on a more creative or a more managerial role, some complete a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most art directors work 5 years or more in another occupation before becoming art directors. Depending upon the industry, they may work as graphic designers, fine artists, editors, photographers, or in another art or design occupation before becoming art directors.

For many artists, including art directors, developing a portfolio—a collection of an artist’s work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities—is essential. Managers, clients, and others look at artists’ portfolios when they are deciding whether to hire an employee or contract for an art project.

Important Qualities 

Communication skills. Art directors must be able to listen to and speak with staff and clients to ensure that they understand employees’ ideas and clients’ desires for advertisements, publications, or movie sets.

Creativity. Art directors must be able to come up with interesting and innovative ideas to develop advertising campaigns, set designs, or layout options.

Leadership skills. Art directors must be able to organize, direct, and motivate other artists. They need to articulate their visions to artists and oversee the work as it progresses.

Resourcefulness. Art directors must be able to adapt their latest designs to the changing technology used in their industry.

Time-management skills. Balancing competing priorities and multiple projects while meeting strict deadlines is critical for art directors.

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Associate Creative Director Career Paths

Associate Creative Director
Creative Director
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Director
Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Senior Vice President
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director
Freelance Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Creative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Group Creative Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Vice President
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Creative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Design Director
Creative Director & Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Design Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Creative Services Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Creative Services Director
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Vice President
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
President
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Designer/Art Director
Interactive Art Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Creative Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Communications And Marketing
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Creative/Art Director
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Director
Production Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Vice President
Senior Vice President Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Strategy
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Strategy
11 Yearsyrs
Brand Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Art Director
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Associate Creative Director?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Creative Director 3.9 years
Creative Manager 3.2 years
Creative Lead 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Associate Creative Director
Art Director 20.7%
Designer 3.0%
Supervisor 2.7%
Internship 2.3%
Director 1.2%
Top Careers After Associate Creative Director
Consultant 2.5%
Owner 2.0%

Do you work as an Associate Creative Director?

Associate Creative Director Demographics

Gender

Male

61.4%

Female

29.2%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.3%

French

15.2%

Italian

6.7%

Chinese

3.8%

German

3.8%

Mandarin

2.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Swedish

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Filipino

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Russian

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%
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Associate Creative Director Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

13.1%

New York University

8.3%

Syracuse University

8.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

College for Creative Studies

5.5%

Art Center College of Design

5.3%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.9%

Portfolio Center

4.7%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.7%

Academy of Art University

4.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.0%

Michigan State University

3.8%

Columbia College Chicago

3.6%

Temple University

3.2%

Boston University

3.2%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.0%

University of Florida

2.8%

Harvard University

2.8%

Miami Ad School

2.5%
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Majors

Graphic Design

28.1%

Advertising

10.5%

Fine Arts

9.6%

Communication

6.8%

English

6.6%

Design And Visual Communication

5.6%

Journalism

5.3%

Marketing

4.8%

Photography

3.8%

Business

3.2%

Public Relations

3.1%

Theatre

2.3%

Writing

2.0%

Education

1.4%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.4%

Psychology

1.3%

Graphic Communications

1.2%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.1%

History

1.1%

Liberal Arts

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

63.2%

Other

15.1%

Masters

14.1%

Associate

3.8%

Certificate

2.6%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$116,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$67,000
Min 10%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$116,000
Median 50%
$203,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Apple
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does an Associate Creative Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Associate Creative Director in the United States is $117,071 per year or $56 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $67,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $203,000.

Real Associate Creative Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Creative Director The Howard Hughes Corporation New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $223,226
Associate Creative Director The Howard Hughes Corporation New York, NY Nov 05, 2016 $215,405
Associate Creative Director Howard Hughes Management Co LLC New York, NY Jan 02, 2016 $215,405
Associate Creative Director Argonaut, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 21, 2016 $200,000
Associate Creative Director Publicis Inc. New York, NY Jan 21, 2015 $200,000
Associate Creative Director Arnold Worldwide Boston, MA Sep 01, 2015 $195,656
Associate Creative Director Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 19, 2016 $195,000 -
$215,000
Associate Creative Director Mullenlowe U.S. Boston, MA Jun 06, 2016 $185,000
Associate Creative Director Droga5, LLC New York, NY May 05, 2015 $180,000
Associate Creative Director Droga5, LLC New York, NY May 04, 2015 $180,000
Associate Creative Director R/Ga Media Group, Inc. New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $179,000 -
$189,000
Associate Creative Director DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 16, 2015 $155,000 -
$185,000
Associate Creative Director Anomaly Partners LLC New York, NY Sep 08, 2015 $155,000
Associate Creative Director R/Ga Media Group, Inc. New York, NY Apr 26, 2016 $155,000 -
$165,000
Associate Creative Director Roundarch Isobar, Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2016 $150,000
Associate Creative Director Laird and Partners New York LLC New York, NY Jan 25, 2016 $150,000
Associate Creative Director DDB Worldwide Communications Group, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 27, 2015 $150,000 -
$190,000
Associate Creative Director-Art Leo Burnett Company, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 20, 2015 $150,000
Associate Creative Director Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 05, 2015 $150,000 -
$200,000
Associate Creative Director Razorfish, LLC New York, NY Sep 02, 2015 $132,974 -
$198,900
Associate Creative Director Photon Infotech, Inc. New York, NY May 04, 2015 $130,000
Associate Creative Director Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners New York, NY Apr 14, 2015 $130,000
Associate Creative Director AKQA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 27, 2015 $130,000 -
$150,000
Associate Creative Director BBDO USA LLC New York, NY Jun 13, 2016 $130,000
Associate Creative Director Sapient Corporation Santa Monica, CA Sep 04, 2015 $128,717
Associate Creative Director Razorfish, LLC New York, NY Jan 14, 2016 $128,294 -
$199,400

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Top Skills for An Associate Creative Director

  1. Creative Department
  2. Graphic Design
  3. Art Direction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Associate Creative Director Managed creative department and oversaw all marketing communication and sales support.
  • Deliver comprehensive suite of graphic design services to cross-industry clientele.
  • Managed or performed; file preparation, color management, image retouching, press checks, art direction and staff management.
  • Managed, developed and implemented creative strategy and design for digital projects.
  • Led 3D animation, motion graphics, video, and UX design of mobile and web applications projects.

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Top 10 Best States for Associate Creative Directors

  1. California
  2. Illinois
  3. New York
  4. Washington
  5. Georgia
  6. New Mexico
  7. Oregon
  8. Maine
  9. Utah
  10. New Jersey
  • (420 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (270 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)

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