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Advertising art director Creative

Art directors design the visual side of advertising campaigns for all kinds of media including film, TV, web or print.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £100,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Employers will often expect you to have an HND or degree in graphic design, advertising design, illustration or fine art.

Work experience in an advertising agency may help you to find your first job and to make contacts. Contacts in the industry can be helpful when you're looking for paid work.

The Institute of Practitioner in Advertising (IPA) has information on careers in advertising and on how to approach advertising agencies for work experience.

Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers. You’ll need to show a portfolio or ‘book’ of your work when you’re looking for jobs as you’ll be employed if they like your artwork and ideas.

D&AD has information and professional development programmes to help people build a portfolio and make contacts in the advertising industry.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • creativity
  • art and design skills
  • excellent teamworking and communication skills
  • IT skills
  • budgeting skills

3. What you'll do

Each project will start with briefing about the client, the product, the target audience and the advertising message you need to put across. Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • working closely with a copywriter to create original ideas that fit your client's brief
  • producing storyboards (for TV commercials) or sketches of your ideas
  • presenting the ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
  • helping present ideas to the client
  • making any changes that the client asks for
  • hiring graphic designers, artists, photographers or film companies to produce the artwork or TV ads
  • choosing studios or locations and attending photo or film shoots
  • making sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • overseeing the final editing of the finished adverts.

You may often work on several projects at once under the supervision of a creative director.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced: up to £45,000

Highly Experienced: up to £100,000 (senior art director)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

The work is office-based, but you may also travel to meet clients or visit studios or locations when directing video or photography shoots.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior art director or creative director.

You could also work freelance or set up your own agency.

Some art directors move into directing for TV or film.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017