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Art Director

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What is an Art Director?

Job Description & Duties Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting, and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.

Art Director Responsibilities

  • Manage own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
  • Hire, train, and direct staff members who develop design concepts into art layouts or who prepare layouts for printing.
  • Prepare detailed storyboards showing sequence and timing of story development for television production.
  • Mark up, paste, and complete layouts and write typography instructions to prepare materials for typesetting or printing.
  • Confer with creative, art, copywriting, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts and to coordinate creative activities.
  • Work with creative directors to develop design solutions.

What Every Art Director Should Know

These are the skills Art Directors say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Listening: Giving 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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Types of Art Director

  • Design Director
  • Creative Services Director
  • Senior Art Director
  • Director of Creative Services, Consumer Products
  • Product Designer

Is There Going to be Demand for Art Directors?

There were about 90,300 jobs for Art Director in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,900 new jobs for Art Director by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Art Directors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Art Director are Washington, Utah, and Oregon. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Art Director

The salary for Art Directors ranges between about $52,160 and $172,570 a year.

Salary Ranges for Art Directors

Art Directors who work in California, New York, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

How much do Art Directors make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $82,670
Alaska $91,510
Arizona $74,270
Arkansas $67,030
California $127,630
Colorado $92,440
Connecticut $96,780
Delaware $99,760
District of Columbia $78,270
Florida $78,840
Georgia $111,500
Hawaii $75,120
Idaho $69,230
Illinois $99,800
Indiana $82,720
Iowa $75,110
Kansas $82,340
Kentucky $75,540
Louisiana $68,040
Maine $93,590
Maryland $74,850
Massachusetts $97,810
Michigan $87,330
Minnesota $95,300
Mississippi $58,350
Missouri $91,090
Nebraska $90,350
Nevada $77,830
New Hampshire $92,080
New Jersey $104,820
New Mexico $100,030
New York $124,710
North Carolina $96,680
North Dakota $76,520
Ohio $82,630
Oklahoma $68,420
Oregon $108,830
Pennsylvania $98,410
Rhode Island $83,690
South Carolina $81,410
Tennessee $78,320
Texas $81,170
Utah $103,570
Vermont $86,740
Virginia $91,770
Washington $106,260
West Virginia $89,760
Wisconsin $78,920

What Tools & Technology do Art Directors Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Art Directors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • jQuery
  • Data visualization software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • WordPress
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Apple macOS

Becoming an Art Director

Education needed to be an Art Director:

Art Director Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Art Director?

Art Director Work Experience

Art Directors Sector

Art Director Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Art Directors employed by various industries.

Art Director Industries

References:

Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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