A creative/art director is someone who provides the conceptual idea behind a project and executes project details. His/Her or her responsibilities include leading a team of artists and developing budgets and timelines. The essential skills that a creative/art director should possess to accomplish such responsibilities include good analytical and technical skills and the ability to adapt to his/her or her team. The job's education requirements include obtaining a bachelor's degree in graphic design, advertising, fine arts, or other related fields.

Creative/Art Director Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real creative/art director resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Initiate and lead process of new corporate branding including logo, website, social and print media.
  • Manage and execute creative/design direction for enrollment marketing of partner colleges and ensure continuity and evolution of brand identity.
  • Produce initial HTML code and CSS styling development for approve design.
  • Design and layout of books, presentation design, promotional materials, and direct response for retention and new subscriber acquisition.
  • Assist with the uploading of site creatives, landing pages, emails & providing any HTML and CSS coding when necessary.
  • Web product design skills using software, CSS and more.
  • Create inspiration books for upcoming seasons for both catalog and internet photo.
  • Advance photo manipulation in Photoshop (color corrections, special effects).
  • Develop card art for prepay debit cards using photoshop, illustrator, painting and drawing.
  • Work closely with marketing and photography directors to arrive at outstanding solutions.
Creative/Art Director Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.
Leadership skills directly correlate with a person's ability to lead others toward success or an accomplishment.

Creative/Art Director Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a creative/art director is "should I become a creative/art director?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, creative/art director careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "little or no change" at 1% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a creative/art director by 2028 is 900.

Creative/art directors average about $55.71 an hour, which makes the creative/art director annual salary $115,873. Additionally, creative/art directors are known to earn anywhere from $72,000 to $185,000 a year. This means that the top-earning creative/art directors make $113,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a creative/art director. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an art consultant, gallery director, director, and co-director.

Creative/Art Director Jobs You Might Like

Creative/Art Director Resume Examples

Creative/Art Director Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 14% of Creative/Art Directors are proficient in Creative Concepts, Graphic Design, and Art Direction. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Creativity, and Leadership skills.

We break down the percentage of Creative/Art Directors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Creative Concepts, 14%

    Develop creative concepts and executions of branding, advertising, digital and social media campaigns.

  • Graphic Design, 13%

    Hired as Graphic Designer, promoted to Marketing Manager/Creative Director.

  • Art Direction, 9%

    Provide on set Art Direction and Creative Consultant for Rejuvenation Catalog, PB Catalog, and Mark & Graham Catalog.

  • Photography, 8%

    Presented campaigns to clients and supervised photography, television and music productions.

  • Web Banners, 6%

    Created e-commerce websites, online affiliate programs and numerous animated web banners and e-promotional campaigns.

  • Creative Strategies, 4%

    Participate in strategic discussions and provide creative strategies/solutions.

Some of the skills we found on creative/art director resumes included "creative concepts," "graphic design," and "art direction." We have detailed the most important creative/art director responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a creative/art director to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "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." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that creative/art directors can use communication skills to "lead the design of the proprietary custom color tool online application gui and related print communications. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform creative/art director duties is the following: creativity. According to a creative/art director resume, "art directors must be able to come up with interesting and innovative ideas to develop advertising campaigns, set designs, or layout options." Check out this example of how creative/art directors use creativity: "provided creative direction and produced all promotional and marketing materials, including advertising material and online, tv and radio ads. "
  • Leadership skills is also an important skill for creative/art directors to have. This example of how creative/art directors use this skill comes from a creative/art director resume, "art directors must be able to organize, direct, and motivate other artists" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "worked with senior leadership team in directing/organizing all aspects of worship & creative arts for weekly services & special events. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "time-management skills" is important to completing creative/art director responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way creative/art directors use this skill: "balancing competing priorities and multiple projects while meeting strict deadlines is critical for art directors." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical creative/art director tasks: "report to ministry captain to insure priorities have been met on time and effectively. "
  • See the full list of creative/art director skills.

    Before becoming a creative/art director, 73.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 6.2% creative/art directors went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most creative/art directors have a college degree. But about one out of every eight creative/art directors didn't attend college at all.

    Those creative/art directors who do attend college, typically earn either graphic design degrees or fine arts degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for creative/art directors include design and visual communication degrees or communication degrees.

    When you're ready to become a creative/art director, you might wonder which companies hire creative/art directors. According to our research through creative/art director resumes, creative/art directors are mostly hired by Facebook, Critical Mass Technologies, Ltd. Co., and Verizon Communications. Now is a good time to apply as Facebook has 109 creative/art directors job openings, and there are 2 at Critical Mass Technologies, Ltd. Co. and 2 at Verizon Communications.

    If you're interested in companies where creative/art directors make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Facebook, Newell Brands, and TBWA Worldwide. We found that at Facebook, the average creative/art director salary is $203,316. Whereas at Newell Brands, creative/art directors earn roughly $197,046. And at TBWA Worldwide, they make an average salary of $194,947.

    View more details on creative/art director salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide, and Macy's. These three companies have hired a significant number of creative/art directors from these institutions.

    In general, creative/art directors fulfill roles in the retail and hospitality industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the creative/art director annual salary is the highest in the telecommunication industry with $188,784 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the finance and hospitality industries pay $172,251 and $156,594 respectively. This means that creative/art directors who are employed in the telecommunication industry make 65.7% more than creative/art directors who work in the retail Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious creative/art directors are:

      What Art Consultants Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take art consultant for example. On average, the art consultants annual salary is $59,269 lower than what creative/art directors make on average every year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between creative/art directors and art consultants are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like graphic design, art direction, and facebook.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a creative/art director responsibility requires skills such as "creative concepts," "photography," "web banners," and "creative strategies." Whereas a art consultant is skilled in "new clients," "gallery exhibitions," "contemporary art," and "art collections." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Art consultants tend to reach higher levels of education than creative/art directors. In fact, art consultants are 7.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.8% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Gallery Director?

      The next role we're going to look at is the gallery director profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $46,857 lower salary than creative/art directors per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of creative/art directors and gallery directors are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "graphic design," "photography," and "facebook. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real creative/art director resumes. While creative/art director responsibilities can utilize skills like "creative concepts," "art direction," "web banners," and "creative strategies," some gallery directors use skills like "gallery exhibitions," "local artists," "press releases," and "new artists."

      In general, gallery directors study at higher levels of education than creative/art directors. They're 8.4% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.8% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Director Compares

      Directors work in show business, whether in a film, a television show, or a theatre production. They are responsible for bringing the material to life. They work with the writers to get a clear vision of how the production should look. They lead the production team in planning for the production, identifying filming or rehearsing schedules, casting for roles, and other aspects that need to be decided upon. Directors provide direction to the actors to ensure that the actors understand their role and will be able to effectively convey emotions to the audience. They also manage all other crew members and communicate their expectations clearly so that everyone on the set is working towards one vision.

      The director profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of creative/art directors. The difference in salaries is directors making $21,179 higher than creative/art directors.

      By looking over several creative/art directors and directors resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "facebook," "internet," and "healthcare." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a creative/art director is likely to be skilled in "creative concepts," "graphic design," "art direction," and "photography," while a typical director is skilled in "procedures," "customer service," "facility," and "oversight."

      Interestingly enough, directors earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $156,049. As mentioned previously, creative/art directors highest annual salary comes from the telecommunication industry with an average salary of $188,784.

      When it comes to education, directors tend to earn higher education levels than creative/art directors. In fact, they're 15.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 5.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Co-Director

      Co-directors tend to earn a lower pay than creative/art directors by about $22,239 per year.

      According to resumes from both creative/art directors and co-directors, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "facebook," "internet," and "photoshop. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a creative/art director might have more use for skills like "creative concepts," "graphic design," "art direction," and "photography." Meanwhile, some co-directors might include skills like "facility," "oversight," "professional development," and "community outreach" on their resume.

      In general, co-directors make a higher salary in the finance industry with an average of $84,278. The highest creative/art director annual salary stems from the telecommunication industry.

      In general, co-directors reach higher levels of education when compared to creative/art directors resumes. Co-directors are 8.4% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 6.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.