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Details for Art Directors


Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, newspapers, and packaging.


  • Formulate basic layout design or presentation approach, and specify material details, such as style and size of type, photographs, graphics, animation, video and sound.
  • Review and approve proofs of printed copy and art and copy materials developed by staff members.
  • Manage own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
  • Confer with creative, art, copy-writing, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts, and to coordinate creative activities.
  • Present final layouts to clients for approval.
  • Confer with clients to determine objectives, budget, background information, and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.
  • Hire, train and direct staff members who develop design concepts into art layouts or who prepare layouts for printing.
  • Work with creative directors to develop design solutions.
  • Review illustrative material to determine if it conforms to standards and specifications.
  • Attend photo shoots and printing sessions to ensure that the products needed are obtained.
  • Create custom illustrations or other graphic elements.
  • Mark up, paste, and complete layouts, and write typography instructions to prepare materials for typesetting or printing.
  • Negotiate with printers and estimators to determine what services will be performed.
  • Conceptualize and help design interfaces for multimedia games, products and devices.
  • Prepare detailed storyboards showing sequence and timing of story development for television production.


  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Related Careers

  • Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Floral Designers
  • Interior Designers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Set and Exhibit Designers
Wages for this career
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