Art director essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $80,880
- 2012, number of jobs: 31,570
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 9 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Art directors; what they do:
Art directors are responsible for the pictures that catch our attention; they tell stories and sell products in our highly visual culture. Art directors determine the images used and overall visual style for everything from magazines and newspapers to product packaging and movie or television productions.
Common industries for art directors for employment include: publishing, advertising, public relations and movie production.
An art director takes a concept and put a believable picture to it, and then accurately convey their concept to a team of artists. Art director careers involve developing the look, style, and feel of advertising campaigns or of a movie, show or theater performance. Art director careers often involve overseeing a design staff and working with photographers, writers, directors, editors and other creative directors. Art directors keep their staff on track with the budget and the timeline.
Art directors working in publishing generally oversee newspaper and magazine page layouts, as well as select cover art for books, magazines or web publications. Art directors focused in advertising or public relations convey their client’s message visually through media campaigns. An art director career in movie production involves creating the style of a set.
Art directors job titles:
- Art Supervisor
- Advertising Art Director
- Creative Director
- Creative Art Director
- Design Director
- Director of Creative Services
- Group Art Supervisor
- Production Manager
- Senior Art Director
Art Directors Education, Certification and License Requirements
An art director career typically requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts and three to five years of previous work experience in a related position, such as graphic designer, illustrator, copyeditor, or photographer.
Some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Design, a Bachelor of Visual Communications, a Bachelor in Multimedia Design and Development, a Bachelor in Design Management or a Bachelor in Digital Media degree program.
Some art directors hoping to advance in their career continue their education with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Art director programs cover subjects such as:
- Graphic and digital design
- Digital media skills
Art directors don’t need a specific license or certification.
Art Directors Job Outlook
Forecast: Nine percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for art directors, slower than the average for all occupations.
Employers need art directors to oversee people involved in artwork or layout design. Although jobs in traditional print publications may decrease, jobs in electronic magazines and Internet-based publications continue to grow. The major employment sectors for art directors include advertising, public relations, and specialized design services industries.
Art Directors Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $80,880
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $117,090
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $57,830
Art Directors Major Employers
- Advertising, public relations, and related services
- Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers
- Specialized design services
- Motion picture and video industries