What Does a Creative Director Do?
Since it blends conceptual planning, innovative problem-solving, and organizational know-how, a creative director position might be the perfect fit for an artistic taskmaster looking to grow their career.
Creative directors supervise and manage teams of copywriters, art directors, designers, and more to ensure projects are expertly executed and completed on schedule. A great creative director has in-depth knowledge of advertising and modern marketing tactics, as well as excellent interpersonal skills to collaborate with teams outside the creative bubble.
Many creative directors take on an executive role, but others keep their creative juices flowing by brainstorming new concepts with their functional teams.
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National Average Salary
Creative director salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Creative Director is:
Creative Director Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a creative director, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
[Your Company Name] is in search of a creative director. This candidate will lead teams of creative professionals including graphic designers, artists, writers, and other professionals within the company. Creative directors create and maintain the vision for a company’s products. Creative directors will display a high quality of the following skills: creativity, leadership, respect, communication, and time management. One of the most important roles a creative director plays is one of being involved in every aspect of a collaboration project from the brainstorming of ideas to the execution of a final product. The ideal candidate will be detail oriented and have the ability to manage the day-to-day details of their work. During projects, they supervise and guide their team to create work that is professional, well thought out, and high in standards. Although creative directors primarily work independently, they report to a chief marketing officer for approvals and major decisions.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Help develop brand standards for the graphics and marketing departments
- Ensure brand standards are maintained across all projects and platforms
- Direct the creative team in the production of print and digital deliverables
- Oversee daily workflows and assess project workloads of team members
- Communicate with clients to ensure expectations and deadlines are met
- Manage project deadlines and budgets
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing, mass communications, art and design, creative writing, or a similar field.
Required skills and qualifications
- Solid understanding of creative and industry trends
- Exceptional multitasking and time-management skills
- Competence in using industry-standard tools, such as Adobe Creative Cloud
- Outstanding leadership, project management, and communication skills
- Expert knowledge in multi-channel marketing models and brand development
- Strong interpersonal skills
- 5+ years of experience managing a team of creatives
- Excellent graphic design knowledge
As the Creative Director at ABC Company, you will contribute to this mission by deploying world-class advertising efforts that will impact millions of consumers every week. You will report directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, oversee the entire Creative team, and work closely with our Digital Marketing and Media departments.
What you’ll contribute
- Combine our branding initiatives with our direct response marketing tactics to ensure the creative strategy produces the best results possible for the company
- Drive consumer interactions through compelling written copy, graphic design, and video production in accordance with our brand strategy
- Ensure overall strategic vision for the creative initiatives are being worked towards while managing the intake of new requests and prioritizing accordingly
- Develop your Creative team to have a strong culture rooted in innovation that is in line with the company’s core values
What it takes to succeed
At ABC Company, we are Default Aggressive towards our goals and take Extreme Ownership of our results. We’ll provide you with the training and tools to set you up for success, and we hope that you’ll bring:
- An uncompromising attention to detail and pursuit of improvement
- Proven skillset and expertise with design and video production work
- High level of written communication competency
- Experience leading projects for creative change or innovation
- Prior experience working in a B2C Marketing function preferred
- Bachelor’s Degree in Art, Design, Marketing, or a related field required
ABC Company is seeking an experienced Creative Director with a proven track record of bringing consumer brands to life. Reporting to the VP of Marketing, you will build and mentor a small creative team, augmenting our in-house talent with a network of freelancers and smaller agencies to deliver a variety of creative assets that supports all of our Marketing efforts. As part of the overall brand team, you will serve as an evangelist for our brand identity and voice, ensuring that creative across our company works to represent our brand in a unified and effective way.
What you’ll do:
- Partner with the VP of Marketing and VP of Design to continuously refine our brand design and story, bringing it to life through a broad range of touchpoints to build awareness, engagement and preference for ABC Company
- Translate our brand vision into clear creative direction for our in-house and external creative partners/resources, providing input to their work and ensuring that their results meet the team needs for future iterations and applications
- Provide leadership for the ongoing interpretation of our brand guidelines in support of new applications across the business
- Build and develop an impactful, in-house creative team with a reputation for delivering on commitments, and for being a great team to work on and with
- Build a curated network of external creative agencies/freelancers/contractors to help complement our in-house creative team and skill sets, and support the development of creative projects as needed
- Work with the broader Marketing and Design teams to extend agency-led campaigns into a portfolio of media assets
- Concept and direct multimedia work including performance creatives, email templates, banner ads, digital videos, offline collateral, content marketing design assets, and social media posts
- Continually update best practices for ABC Company to drive response and action from our creative efforts; incorporate up-to-date research, channel best practices, and third party expertise (e.g. Google, Facebook, Media agency guidelines) to inform all our efforts
- Partner with Design to evolve overall website branding, and to provide visual design/messaging support as we continue to enhance/optimize specific elements of our website and product experience
- Support our Human Resources team with the creative production of internal learning & development materials
- Ensure that creative projects are prioritized appropriately and delivered on time, on strategy, and on budget
What you’ll bring:
- 10+ years in a creative role, with 5+ years of experience providing creative direction to professionals, including: graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and copywriters
- Visual design roots, with video production experience strongly preferred
- Highly collaborative, you like to partner with and support the needs of a range of internal partners
- Experience mentoring a high-performance team. People leader who can identify, recruit, and develop great talent to create premier work
- Comfortable sourcing, vetting, and managing external creative agencies, contractors, and freelancers
- Creatively savvy; you stay current and ahead of the latest design, video, and other creative trends and digital advancements
- Experience with and appreciation for rigorously testing & optimizing creative to deliver performance
- Highly organized, with experience setting up internal processes to receive, prioritize, and deliver on creative requests
- Fast paced, results-oriented and able to prioritize opposing demands for multiple internal partners
- Low-ego and willing to roll up sleeves, but skilled at delegating and coaching to manage team output
- Able to inspire great work from your team, whether designing a marketing campaign or a PowerPoint template
- Previous in-house tech/start up experience preferred
- Bonus Points: Experience working on a consumer finance or fintech brand
- Please submit a copy of your portfolio along with your application
With proven creative and design execution, a history of management results, and a problem-solving attitude, the Global Creative Director oversees the day-to-day activities of the creative, design, and related departments to ensure quality work is produced on time and on brand. Drawing on their career experience, the Global Creative Director works to mentor, develop, and provide actionable feedback to members within the Global Design Group—building a positive culture of creativity and excellence.
- Lead the creative vision of ABC Company, its associated brands, and products across the globe in all mediums—print, video, digital, web, etc.
- Work cross-functionally with key company stakeholders to provide strategic thinking as it relates to the expression of ABC Company, its associated brands, and products
- Concept and produce critical projects and campaigns across the ABC portfolio
- Oversee the creative/design work of the Global Design team and provide feedback/direction as necessary
- Mentor, teach, and develop the careers of the members within the Global Design team
- Manage and invent processes that lead to successful creation and completion of all creative, design, and production work
- Manage and secure resources needed by the Global Design team to effectively execute their day-to-day responsibilities
- Minimum of 15+ years of experience or equivalent
- 5+ years experience managing other creatives/designers
- Design/Creative portfolio of produced work
- Bachelor’s Degree in Design or equivalent experience
General skills/competencies/specialized knowledge
- Expert Knowledge
- Adobe Creative Cloud: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat
- Advanced Knowledge
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Bridge, Lightroom; Microsoft Office: Powerpoint, Excel, Word
- Working Knowledge
- Adobe Creative Cloud: XD, Dimensions, Premier, After Effects
- Must be able to travel up to 10% of the time; both domestic and international travel is required
- Typical work related travel assignments range 1-3 days, and as such overnight, out-of-town stays are required
Candidate Certifications to Look For
Creative directors require college degrees and several years of experience before being eligible to be considered for this leadership position. By furthering their knowledge and skills through education, training, and certifications, qualified candidates will have an advantage over others when applying for employment.
Though creative directors do not have to become certified or licensed to work for publications, marketing agencies, or media companies, they can show their drive and determination by becoming members of professional organizations. These organizations consist of, but are not limited to: The American Institute of Graphic Arts, Graphic Arts Guild, The Society of Illustrators, Artists and Designers, and the International Council of Design.
Sample Interview Questions
- What would make you an effective creative director at our company?
- What do you like about creative design and marketing?
- How do you determine potential clients?
- How have you managed creative talent in the past?
- Have you worked with freelance creators?
- What qualities does a creative director most need to be successful?
- What design programs are you most comfortable using?
- What design programs are you least comfortable using?
- How do you go about hiring and developing new designers?
- How do you measure the success of design? Who are some of your greatest influences in art and design?
- When you are launching a new creative campaign, what does your research process look like?
- How do you keep your team motivated and productive, specifically under high pressure and deadlines?
- How would you present creative work to company executives and board members?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- If you and a co-worker were in disagreement about a project, how would you handle that situation?
- How can you foster an environment of trust, and communication among your creative team?
- What is your ideal workspace environment?