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How To Become An Art Director and What does an Art Director do?

04 December,2021  |  By Brainwonders

Art Director image

Art directors are in charge of the visual style and images in periodicals, newspapers, commercial packaging, and film and television projects. They provide the overall design for a project as well as direct others who generate the artwork or layouts.

Art directors work with advertising and public relations firms, newspaper and magazine publishers, speciality design services firms, and the theatre, cinema, and video industries, among others.

It is a prestigious job term that is commonly used in graphic design, marketing, advertising, publishing, web design, publishing, cinema and television, and video games. Art Directors must foster an environment of experimentation and discovery while adhering to and being directed by the brand strategy and creative brief.

What does an Art Director do?

Art Director

An art director is often in charge of supervising the work of other designers and artists who create pictures for television, cinema, live performances, ads, or video games. They establish the overall style or tone for each project and express their vision to artists who offer images such as artwork, graphics, photography, charts and graphs, or stage and film sets. An art director collaborates with the art and design staff at advertising agencies, public relations firms, and book, magazine, or newspaper publishers to create designs and layouts. They also supervise set designs for theatre, television, and film productions, working with producers and directors.

Their jobs demand them to grasp project design elements, encourage other creative professionals, and keep projects on budget and on time. They are occasionally in charge of developing budgets and deadlines. They are occasionally in charge of developing budgets and deadlines.

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Typically, an art director will perform the following:
  • Decide how to best visually represent a concept 
  • Determine which images, artwork, or other design elements will be used.
  • Create the overall look or style of a marketing effort.
  • Create the overall appearance or style of a theatre, television, or film set.
  • Supervise design staff 
  • Approve designs, artwork, photography, and graphics.
  • Work with clients to create an artistic approach and style.
  • Coordination of operations with other artistic or creative departments 
  • Creation of specific budgets and timetables
  • Show designs to clients for their approval.

Art Directors work in different sectors and their roles differ slightly depending on the industry they are in. Almost all art directors, on the other hand, decide on the overall artistic style and visual image to be generated for each project and manage a team of designers, artists, and other creative professionals. Photographers, writers, or other creative professionals are in charge of creating the various pieces that collectively make up a finished product.

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The following is a synopsis of what art directors can do in various industries:

Art Director

In the publishing industry, art directors are often in charge of the page layout of newspapers and periodicals. They also select the cover art for books and magazines. This work frequently incorporates web publications.

Advertising and public relations art directors ensure that their clients' chosen messages and images are transmitted to the public. They oversee the entire visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and may coordinate the activities of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers. 

Art directors cooperate with filmmakers in film production to identify what sets will be needed for the film and what style or aesthetic the sets should have. They hire and supervise a staff of assistant art directors or set designers to finalise designs.

Before becoming an art director, the majority of them will have worked in another industry for several years. Depending on the industry, they may have worked as a graphic designer, fine artist, editor, photographer, or in another art or design position.

Creating a professional-looking portfolio (a collection of work that exhibits one's style, aptitude, and expertise) is crucial for many artists, especially art directors, to secure a job. Agencies, directors, publishing houses, and customers all look at artists' portfolios when deciding whether to hire or contract for a project.

Many brilliant designers and artists want to move into art director positions, thus employment rivalry will be fierce in the future. Individuals with a solid portfolio, demonstrating great visual design and conceptual work across all multimedia platforms, will have the best opportunities.

Working as an Art Director

Art directors in a typical work environment: - Have a lot of social interaction

  • Cooperate with customers
  • Collaborate with creative personnel - Take responsibility for the work of designers, artists, photographers, and others
  • Collaborate with teams or groups of people
  • Select and work with teams - Resolve difficulties about project direction - Communicate with customers

Despite the fact that the vast majority of art directors are self-employed, they must engage with designers or other members of the visual effects or marketing teams. In a fast-paced office setting, art directors typically work more than 40 hours a week, and they frequently work under pressure (and on weekends) to meet severe deadlines.

Top College for a career as an Art Director
  1. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Navi Mumbai 
  2. National Institute of Design, Bengaluru
  3. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai 
  4. National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad 
  5. Footwear Design and Development Institute, Noida 
  6. VIDM Institute of Design and Management, New Delhi 
  7. Arena Animation, Bengaluru
  8. National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi
  9. YMCA Institute for Office Management, New Delhi 



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