“Art Director” sounds pretty fancy, don’t you think? In reality, it is less about being head of a department that it sounds like. The director part refers to the responsibility of managing various creative specialists, supervising and unifying.
Art Directing means being in charge of an overall appearance of a project, brand or organization. An AD is trained in how design communicates, how it stimulates emotion and ultimately how it helps an audience to engage and relate with a brand.
Various professional artists might have a hand in how a project looks, but it’s the Art Director who makes sure that all elements play well together. This often means careful consideration of various factors that creatives otherwise don’t need to worry about: decision process, business partners, budget consideration and brand manuals.
It is an Art Director’s responsibility to take all factors into consideration, before copy writers designers, photographers and other artists are set to work. It is often the Art Director’s job to formulate the creative briefs to other creatives involved.
An Art Director does not merely design, but orchestrates all creative input and outputs. It is the responsibility of the AD to translate desired moods, messages, ideas and concepts into imagery. An Art Director need therefore not only to have considerable creative skill and experience (with both designing and copy writing), but also diplomatic sense and a fair amount of business-oriented insights.
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