Advertising & Arts

Advertising Art Director

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and TV productions.

  • Entry-level education

    Senior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Advertising Art Director do?

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop artwork and layouts.


Work activities

As an art director, you’ll work in a team of people like copywriters, who’ll provide words to go with your visual images. Each project will begin with a briefing about the client, the product, the target audience and the advertising message that you need to put across.

Your duties will vary, but on a daily basis you may:

  • work closely with the copywriter to create original ideas that fit your client's brief
  • produce storyboards (for TV commercials) or sketches of your ideas
  • present the ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
  • help to present ideas to the client and receive feedback
  • hire graphic designers, artists, photographers or film companies to produce the artwork or TV ads
  • choose studios or locations and attend photo or film shoots
  • make sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • oversee the final editing of the finished advertisements.

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


Key skills and interests

To become an advertising art director you would need:

  • creativity and imagination
  • good art and design skills, including an understanding of photography and printing
  • excellent communication and teamworking skills
  • good computer skills
  • a good eye for detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would usually work Monday to Friday, but your days may often be longer than 9am to 5pm if you had deadlines to meet.


You would usually be based in an office, but you may also travel to meet clients or visit film studios or locations where advertisements are being made.


How to become an Advertising Art Director?

Entry Level Education

You can work as an advertising art director without formal qualifications, but employers usually require senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. You will probably get some on-the-job training. Art directors would usually have a number of years experience in more junior roles in advertising agencies.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in graphic design and have considerable experience in the advertising field. You may also consider degrees in advertising, communications or fine arts. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Advertising art directors will continue to be needed to oversee the work of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, and others engaged in artwork or layout design.

In the publishing industry, job opportunities may decline as traditional print publications lose ground to other media forms, but new opportunities may arise in electronic media and Internet-based publications.

Rather than focusing on the print layout of images and text, art directors for newspapers and magazines will design web pages that incorporate a variety of photographs, illustrations, infographics, graphic designs, and text images.


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