Art directors design the visual side of advertising campaigns for all kinds of media including film, TV, web or print.
Salary Range: £18,000 to £100,000
How to become an advertising art director
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- graduate trainee scheme
Employers will often expect you to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- graphic design
- advertising design
- fine art
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can start as a junior creative to develop your skills on the job and work your way up through training and promotion.
Volunteering and experience
You could get some experience before applying for your first job. This will give you a better understanding of the industry and is a good way to make useful contacts.
You can contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through relevant groups on social networking sites like LinkedIn. You can get more advice on how to approach advertising agencies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
In larger advertising agencies, you may be trained through a structured graduate scheme, if you have a relevant degree.
Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers.
When looking for jobs, you’ll need to show a portfolio or ‘book’ of your work to potential employers, as you’ll be employed on the strength of your artwork and ideas.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- the ability to sell products and services
- knowledge of English language
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent verbal communication skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- the ability to organise your time and workload
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
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 could work at a recording studio, in an office or at a client’s business.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
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.