Art Director

Job Description

Do you have a keen eye for design, a knack for directing innovative talent, and strong organizational skills? A position as an Art Director is a rewarding, creative role that might be perfect for you.

Art Directors are instrumental in creating the visual language and style of advertising campaigns, magazines, product packaging and branding, film, and television productions.

In addition to creating the overall look for a company’s products and marketing, Art Directors manage a team of designers and artists that develop day-to-day assets to bring that vision to life.

A great Art Director must be able to think creatively and critically to determine the best way to represent concepts visually. He or she must also be able to talk with clients to devise a complete artistic approach to a project, as well as speak to and defend his team’s work during client presentations.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Determine and develop the visual style of advertising campaigns, publications, and other visual elements for the client
  • Manage design staff and collaborate with other creatives
  • Create detailed timelines and budgets for the creative team
  • Review and approve the artwork, photography, and graphic designs produced by design staff
  • Select photography, artwork, designs, and other visual elements for layout
  • Coordinating multiple projects simultaneously to product quality content and meet client deadlines
  • Present creative concepts and finished projects to clients for review

Education and Background

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in fine art, digital media, visual communication, photography, or a similar field.

Skills and Competencies

  • Excellent design skills
  • Great aesthetic judgment
  • Top-notch leadership skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Proficiency with industry-standard tools, such as Adobe Creative Cloud


According to Payscale the median annual salary of an Art Director with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida:$54,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $50,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $53,000
  • Miami, Florida:$58,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia:$46,000
  • Chicago, Illinois:$58,000
  • Houston, Texas: $52,000
  • Los Angeles, California:$50,000
  • New York City, New York: $50,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $55,000
  • Overall: $51,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida:$63,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $58,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $56,000
  • Miami, Florida:$61,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia:$54,000
  • Chicago, Illinois:$60,000
  • Houston, Texas: $65,000
  • Los Angeles, California:$60,000
  • New York City, New York: $70,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $69,000
  • Overall: $65,000

Similar Titles

  • Associate/Junior Art Director
  • Senior Art Director
  • Head of Art and Design

Career Path

The path toward a career as an Art Director begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in one of the art and design fields, such as visual communications, fine art, digital media, or photography.

Other essential requirements for any Art Director candidate include previous work experience and a strong creative portfolio. Depending on the industry, experience as an Editor, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Photographer, or Fine Artist will help put you in better shape to get hired for an Art Director role.

Position Trends

As the role of the Creative Director becomes less common in traditional ad agencies, Art Directors can step up to the plate. By working closely with Copywriters and Graphic Designers, a seasoned Art Director can create outstanding content — all while taking on more managerial tasks, as well.

Art Directors will continue to learn cross-disciplinary skills, such as copywriting and web development, to better collaborate with their creative teams. When Art Directors familiarize themselves with their team’s skillsets, they can more effectively communicate their creative vision, which leads to a more agile creative team — and a more productive one.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for Art Directors projects at .9 percent through 2028. Although the publishing industry has declined over the past decade, the demand for Art Directors to lead digital and social ad campaigns will continue to grow.

Typical Hours

The work hours for an Art Director are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster

Are You Interested in Becoming an Art Director?

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