Resourceful, creative, skilled leaders, and communicators… Art directors interpret their employer’s or a client’s vision to create the visual style of print publications, movie, and television productions. Art directors ensure their staff of artists understand the overall design of a project as they create illustrations, graphics, and stage sets to translate the vision into artwork and layouts. Art directors manage projects… keeping them on time and within budget. They oversee the layout of catalogs, newspapers, and magazines, and choose cover art for books. Artists working under art directors create graphics, charts, and illustrations. Directors also oversee the visual aspects of website and video game development. Art directors work with producers and directors of theater, television, and movie productions to develop the concept for set designs, and then oversee the production of set elements. While many art directors are self-employed, all art directors collaborate with a team of designers and artists. The work is fast-paced, and they are often under pressure to meet deadlines. Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and five or more years of previous work experience… many start out as graphic designers, fine artists, or photographers. To apply for positions, art directors must develop a portfolio that illustrates the quality and range of their work.
What they do:
Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual productions and media, such as print, broadcasting, video, and film. Direct workers engaged in artwork or layout design.
On the job, you would:
Formulate basic layout design or presentation approach and specify material details, such as style and size of type, photographs, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
Manage own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
Confer with creative, art, copywriting, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts and to coordinate creative activities.
sales and marketing
Arts and Humanities
music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
come up with lots of ideas
create new and original ideas
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Web platform development software
Hypertext markup language HTML
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Video creation and editing software
Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
Adobe Systems Adobe Director
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.