Job description: what does a creative director do?
The task of a creative director, is the creative management of an agency or department for advertising or marketing. They also have various jobs in the entertainment industry, for example, in the production of computer games. In both areas, you are responsible for optimal results for the customer, the work processes in your team, and the successful use and adaptation of existing resources, including the budget.
In the communication and advertising industry, they mainly design advertising campaigns and set advertising goals. They also determine which types of media and resources are used for this. In the past, there was precisely one creative director in every agency that managed all creative activities of the agency and was, therefore, the superior of all employees in the creative area. This included graphic designers, illustrators, copywriters. Creative directors were always a member of the management or reported directly to it. Today, larger agencies have several creative directors to offer each customer a personal contact person in their project. So creative directors are often no longer the head of the entire agency but of a creative team. Usually, there is a creative director for the area of text and conception and a creative director for the area of art, i.e., visual design. You stand between the company and the customer.
In the entertainment industry, creative directors are responsible for creating creative concepts, advising on design issues, evaluating and presenting drafts, and often managing the entire design department. You are the most empowered person in the artistic aspects of a production. He/she also mediates between artists and technicians.
Regardless of the area and the number of creative directors in the company and creative activities, they also have the task of personnel coordination and management. The care of existing customers and the acquisition of new customers can also be part of the occupation.
Various companies employ creative directors. In addition to advertising agencies, almost all companies with a creative department have a creative director. There are also jobs in PR departments, for example, in the textile, furniture, cosmetics, or jewelry industries. Market and opinion research institutes are also conceivable locations. Typical employers in the entertainment industry are television and radio companies, media and learning material design companies, and software developers.
Average salary: how much does a creative director make?
Creative director in the United States make an average salary of $105,780 per year or $19 per hour. The lowest earned less than $62,870, and the highest earned more than $181,000.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Creative director responsibilities and requirements
There are many ways to become a creative director. The individual requirements are different for each position. The most valuable qualification is work experience. Many people get started with an internship in the creative industry, for example, in a PR agency. Most creative director positions require a degree. A degree as a graphic designer may be desired. Alternatively, degrees in communication studies, art history, or business administration are also welcome. For a few positions, in-company training is sufficient, for example, focusing on web design. For this, at least an intermediate level of education is required. Usually, however, a high school diploma is needed to start studying. At private academies or schools for design and media, the full-time training lasts one and a half years. A bachelor’s degree is usually designed for three years. If the results are good in a further two years, a master’s degree in the respective direction can be obtained.
Essential technical competencies for employment as a creative director are knowledge of current media such as smartphones and social media, the routine use of the Internet, knowledge of calculation and resource management, and personnel management. Depending on the application area, different programming languages, knowledge of editing and animation technology, web technology, and TV, print, and online media are required. There should also be an interest in the product to be marketed and knowledge of brand management.
Apart from the technical expertise as a creative director, specific personal and social skills are also desired. A high level of creativity, communication skills, and resilience are essential. Since there are usually no regular working hours and work is carried out on a project basis, overtime and weekend assignments are standard. So flexibility and perseverance are also required. Organizational talent and entrepreneurial thinking are also necessary for the smooth, efficient execution of the projects. Dealing with employees and customers requires the ability to approach people and a certain amount of empathy.
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