What is being an Art Director? I am one, but what exactly is that? What does it entail? My first day on the job, I came up with this description through my research.
“The art director serves as a brainstormer and communicator. Communicates with the client to understand the direction, tone, ideas that the client has or wants, and bring ideas and direction regarding that to the graphic designer. Art director will be responsible for coming up with ideas for the graphic designer to execute, ranging from product type to specifics. Responsibilities include interacting with copywriters to develop creative concepts and executions of assigned products. Art director should routinely conceptualize creative solutions that effectively communicate the strategic intent for each tactic within the assigned products. Maintain the visual look and feel for all work on an account. In many instances, an ad agency will pair an art director with a copywriter to generate initial campaign concepts, ad ideas and websites. Once the agency’s management team selects a direction, it then becomes the art director’s responsibility to work with the graphic designer to convey the tone and message to help design the finished work.”
So there’s that. Does that clear things up? Compiling bits of descriptions and definitions from about 10 different sources, I was able to come up with the best description I could create.
I felt something interesting whilst creating this job description. Although I wasn’t entirely sure what it was when I applied, I still knew I wanted to do it. And although I still wasn’t entirely sure what it was on my first day, I knew what I felt. I couldn’t just copy the first description I saw, because that didn’t feel right for Roxo, but I took a little part and paraphrased that. The second one I found, I thought I didn’t really need any of that information from the job description. The next one, I found a little part that I thought would be great for Roxo and so I went down the line. After I finished compiling the description, it felt perfect. I hit on everything that Roxo needed in an Art Director, but not with a bunch of excess information.
How did I know what elements would be right for Roxo on my very first day? I couldn’t tell you. But I did. And although my description doesn’t say that, I think it’s the most important part of being an Art Director. When something unexplainable compels me to do something, and if feels right in the situation, that’s the most valuable part of my job in my opinion. Knowing the right thing to do, or having an idea that you can’t explain, that’s what being an art director is all about.
I know that I have a lot to learn, a lot of failures ahead of me, and a lot of successes ahead of me too, but I’m in for the ride.