Creative directors play the role of an artist, marketer, manager, and facilitator of public sentiment.
They work with employers and clients who aim at persuading customers to buy services and products, or voters to choose candidates.
In the article below, we will go through the duties, education, skills, and training required for creative directors to influence customers, voters, and other decision-makers.
Besides, creative directors often have to work within tight deadlines and fulfill multiple responsibilities.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Creative Director Do
Creative directors should know how to grasp the needs of clients and ensure that the product meets their needs.
So, in addition to the creative skills they must possess, creative directors also need listening skills, management skills to guide the team and use time efficiently.
- Meet with clients to find out the concept or message that is being presented.
- Develop the methods of presenting the idea, message, or concept.
- Pick the design elements for the presentation, such as text, graphics, color, style, sound, etc.
- Develop a layout or framework for the creation.
- Consult with the creative or design team, or assign tasks to them.
- Review, approve or reject, suggest changes to the elements of the project such as art, text, video, photo, and sound.
- Meet with clients occasionally to confirm the alignments with goals and concepts.
- Present the final product to the client for approval.
- Set up a budget or follow one devoted to the design project.
To present the client’s message properly, creative directors should come up with innovative styles and elements.
The ideas should include colors, sounds, designs, words, and actions corresponding with the message of the client.
Management and leadership:
Creative directors usually supervise a team of technical and artistic actors.
Management surely incorporates scheduling work, delegating tasks, as well as evaluating completed tasks at different stages.
Creative directors often work under strict deadlines.
Also, they may work on multiple projects at a time.
Time management means scheduling and predicting as the projects come up.
Clients and design teams communicate updates, needs, and concerns to creative directors.
They should be able to listen efficiently to ensure that projects complete successfully.
With their communication skills, they also need to deliver instructions to the team and update clients on progress.
How to Become a Creative Director
To fulfill the tasks of a creative director, one needs an extensive education and experience in multiple aspects involved in presentations.
The minimal educational requirement includes a bachelor’s degree in art or a related area.
Creative directors usually gain experience while working in the graphic design, writing, or photography areas.
Training and Qualifications
As a minimum, creative directors usually have a bachelor’s degree.
Their majors can include such subjects as fine arts, graphic design, marketing, etc.
However, to broaden their prospects and take on managerial roles, creative directors, or art directors, need a master’s degree in fine arts.
Besides design and art that take a vast part of advertising campaigns, creative directors also need classes in sociology or psychology to understand the behavior of people and the decision-making process.
Also, they may take courses in political science to understand the issues, personal qualities of candidates and other aspects that may influence the decisions of voters.
Creative directors usually need experience with common elements of design.
Employers look for directors among graphic designers, fine artists, photographers, editors, and other professionals involved in the design.
Based on the requirements of employers, creative directors need a minimum of five years of experience in these areas.
Creative directors can build a portfolio to demonstrate their creative and artistic skills.
Applicants usually showcase their designs, photographs, brochures, online pages, and writing samples.
Those who wish to enter the field of design or photography may offer their services during high school or undergraduate study for schools or non-profits.
Freelancers can also build portfolios of design or photographs.
A creative director is a full-time position.
Often, they have to work after normal hours and days, especially if the deadlines they have to meet are approaching.
Clients need presentations for holiday or seasonal shopping frequently.
Political candidates or their campaigns may need adverts to counter the messages of their opponents or react to revelations about themselves or opponents as well as to some news events.
Many creative directors work independently.
According to the BLS, in 2014, about half of creative directors were self-employed.
About 15% of directors were employed by the advertising and PR firms.
The BLS predicts only a 2% growth for this position, which reflects 1,800 job openings, through 2024.
With the prevalence of technology such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, digital and web presentations will become preferred platforms over print media.
Often, companies, especially those with limited budgets, prefer independent web developers or small groups of them over creative directors.
Website designers have technical, creative, and artistic skills needed to prepare presentations from the content.
Due to this, the need for management of the presentations by creative directors reduces to some extent.
Creative directors with skills to design digital and online work are more valuable for employers and have better job prospects.
There are many challenges with the job perspectives for creative directors.
The main platforms to deliver information and messages today are online and digital.
Therefore, creative directors who can optimize the campaigns to present the ads and other content with audio, video, and high-end graphics online have better job prospects in the field.