Creative Director jobs(Also known as Art director, Design director)
A creative director is the visionary responsible for steering the entire look, feel and delivery of an audio or visual project, publication, department or company. A creative director can work in any industry, although they are typically called upon to work in any creative format. This could be with a magazine, TV production company, marketing communications firm, automotive design house or graphic design agency. Generally, the creative director is tasked with determining the best way for a company to represent themselves (or their clients) visually to the market. They will usually be in charge of a creative team which may include a graphic designer, content editor, photographer and marketing manager (or team). The creative director will interpret either the objective vision of their own company or that of their client. Once they have a grasp on the brief and overall strategy, they will work with their own internal teams to deliver a pleasing and coherent deliverable vision. This may be the overall guiding thesis for a magazine, or a theme and key message for their client’s advertising campaign. The role blends the need to understand a variety of disciplines, so the creative director will need to be capable of working in art direction, concept planning, timeline management, execution of deliverables and post-delivery reporting and analysis.
SalarySalary is wholly dependent on the industry being worked in, but as a general rule, the job is very well remunerated due to the level of responsibility which it places upon the candidate. Based on an amalgamation of search results on several UK-based job web sites, expected salary ranges are £35,350 to £67,750 for candidates working outside the capital. Creative jobs in London nearly always pay more, with the top potential salary exceeding £100,000 in many sectors.
- Understand the brief, whether internal or external (proposed by the client)
- Create an overall visual framework which can be accommodated by internal teams
- Liaise with the client to ensure the proposed scheme is satisfactory
- Consult with internal artistic teams to design a deliverable plan of execution
- Supervise the design process and assemble content so as to meet the overall theme
- Ensure strict deadlines are met throughout the course of project management
- Correspond with and meet client post-assembly to ensure the brief has been met
- Modify design plan to accommodate requests of internal or external customers post-completion
QualificationsNormally, an honours degree is a requirement for immediate entry into an organisation at this level. Some firms are happy to accept candidates based on a CV which demonstrates success at similar levels or levels slightly below the position being applied for. However, those starting at a production level (graphic designers or photography/art supervisors) will need to spend many years in gaining experience of working under a creative director before they can progress internally or externally to this level.
- An ability to react to and plan a communications plan is essential
- Candidate must have strong marketing skills, especially in the areas of channel marketing and brand communication
- Project management is important, as the creative director will be managing several departments which are working to generate content inside their framework
- Strong presentation skills are required to communicate campaign and brand objectives internally and to external stakeholders
Working ConditionsWhilst this role is typically office-based, most creative directors will spend a lot of time at meetings and production planning sessions away from their place of work. Those who lack a confident presentation manner will not be able to communicate effectively at this level. Whilst much of the job is spent in the company of a Blackberry and fleet car, a lot of business is conducted at industry trade shows, exhibitions, strategic forums, parties and networking events. It is a flexible role which demands equal flexibility from its potential candidates.
ExperienceFor smaller firms which lack the heavyweight punch of an international reputation, it is feasible for candidates to begin at a designer level and just work themselves upwards. There are several tiers, though, and it requires dedication and patience for those who are not able to accelerate their career progression by way of a recognised industry (or business communications and marketing) degree.
Career ProgressionIn the case of a graphic designer, for example, the candidate will usually progress to the role of senior designer (or team leader) from the grass roots entry point. From here, the progression tree will go something like senior designer, visual manager, project team leader, art director, creative director. After this, there exists the possibility to go on to further senior director levels, depending on the size and structure of the organisation.
EmployersIt is difficult to name any major employers due to the differing demands of a plethora of employer types; each “big name” is specific to each industry. Generally, creative directors will be regional head office-based, although it does not mean that candidates should only be applying to household-name blue chip firms.
Rasrintr ‘Noo’ Pornpanvorakit is the creative director of Glamor Magazine in Bangkok, Thailand. She oversees the entire concept for Glamor: The Secret Society, which is one of Thailand’s most recently-successful high-society lifestyle magazines.