Art Directors Job Description

The Art Director formulates design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, newspapers, and packaging.


  • The Art Director formulates basic layout design or presentation approach and specifies material details, such as style and size of type, photographs, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
  • The Art Director reviews and approves art materials, copy materials, and proofs of printed copy developed by staff members.
  • The Art Director manages own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
  • The Art Director confers with creative, art, copywriting, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts and to coordinate creative activities.
  • The Art Director presents final layouts to clients for approval.
  • The Art Director confers with clients to determine objectives, budget, background information, and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.
  • The Art Director hires, trains, and directs staff members who develop design concepts into art layouts or who prepare layouts for printing.
  • The Art Director works with creative directors to develop design solutions.
  • The Art Director reviews illustrative material to determine if it conforms to standards and specifications.
  • The Art Director attends photo shoots and printing sessions to ensure that the products needed are obtained.

The Art Director needs knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. The Art Director needs knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resource modeling, leadership technique, production methods and coordination of people and resources.  The Art Director needs knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. The Art Director needs knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs, assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. The Art Director needs knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. The Art Director needs knowledge of media production, communication, dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media. The Art Director needs knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture. The Art Director needs knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. The Art Director needs knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

The Art Director gives full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. The Art Director must manage their time and the time of the crew in order not to go over budget and get the project done in a timely manner. The Art Director uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. In this manner they are able to adjust actions in relation to others’ actions in order to complete the project. The Art Director must be able to talk to others to convey information effectively.  The Art Director needs to consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.  The Art Director understands the implications of new information for both current and future problem solving and decision making. The Art Director brings others together and tries to reconcile differences. The Art Director persuades others to change their minds or behavior.

The Art Director develops, designs, or creates new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. The Art Director uses computers and computer systems including hardware and software to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. The Art Director analyzes information and evaluates results to choose the solution and solve problems. The Art Director provides information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. The Art Director must keep up to date technically and apply new knowledge to the job.

Degrees and Training to Become an Art Director

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