Art Directors


  1. Description

Humanities and Social Sciences

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Have you ever wondered who came up with the look for those great jeans ads or that cool CD jacket? Behind every advertisement, magazine cover, video, or website is a big-picture person: the art director.

If you’d rather call the shots than carry them out, art directing just might be your thing -- as long as you’re ready to be a fountain of new ideas.

Art directors come up with the visual concepts for everything from billboard advertisements to magazine layouts to videos and websites. Not all work in advertising; some create the look of editorial publications, such as newspapers.

“You get to see the fruits of your labor -- from a print ad that shows up in Sports Illustrated to a TV spot that airs during the Super Bowl.” John, Brand Manager, Advertising

Are You Ready To...?

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Tune into pop culture
  • Manage a team
  • Work under tight deadlines
  • Deal with difficult clients

It Helps To Be...

A big-picture people person who thrives on the challenge of coming up with a continuous stream of fresh, new ideas. If you’re organized, creative, and bold enough to take risks, this could be the career for you.

Make High School Count

  • Sign up for art class. It will help you develop an eye for color and design.
  • Test the waters and build skills in electives like website design, graphic arts, commercial art, and photography. If these are unavailable at your school, check out a local two-year college.
  • Develop strong writing and speaking skills in English and speech classes. Communicating ideas clearly is a must for art directors.

Did You Know?

Management skills come in handy in art directing, where bringing your vision to life often means coordinating the hands-on work of graphic designers, photographers, and others.