- Creative director
A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well.
A creative director is a vital role in all of the arts and entertainment industries. In another sense, they can be seen as another element in any product development process. The creative director may also assume the roles of an art director, copywriter, or lead designer. The responsibilities of a creative director include leading the communication design, interactive design, and concept forward in any work assigned. For example, this responsibility is often seen in industries related to advertisement. The creative director is known to guide a team of employers with skills and experience related to graphic design, fine arts, motion graphics, and other creative industry fields. Some example works can include visual layout, brainstorming, and copywriting. Before one assumes the role of a creative director, one must have a pre-set of experience beforehand. The minimal requirement involves graduating with a bachelor's degree in creative industry fields. Like anyone else, these types of artists start up from the very beginning in fields that can relate to motion graphics, advertisement in television, and/or book (or magazine) publishing. It takes years of experience and professionalism for an artist to grow and eventually take the job as a creative director. If one shows exceptional skills in visual and team leading projects, they may be considered to be promoted to the role.
A creative director needs to possess a wide range of general skills when working with projects that involve collaborating with a large team. The director is the lead person so he or she is in charge of what ideas and concepts go forward. In order to perform effectively, one must have a wide attention and listening span, especially with large projects and teams. It is the responsibility of the creative director to fully understand the ideas and opinions of his or her team in a respectful/critical manner (providing constructive criticism, turning small ideas into larger concepts, etc.). The creative director must be able to make decisions in a deadline driven environment in the most efficient way as possible. Coordinating his or her team in an accurate conceptual direction of where the project needs to go and involving their team in constant creative/brainstorming sessions is crucial. Also another important key part is being able to learn new skills and strategies from fellow workers and how to apply those to future projects.
A creative director is ultimately responsible for the quality of the final creative work. For this reason, they get the lion's share of acclaim when their team's efforts win awards, but conversely, the creative director shoulders the negativity (and the blame) when a project goes wrong, response falls short of expectations, or an important individual on the client's side dislikes or vetos an idea.
While the many advertising and graphic design schools do graduate people with their own degrees and diplomas, there is no degree or diploma in "creative directing".Creative directors often have a strong command of the technical aspects of their business. Styles of creative direction are quite varied, however, with some creative directors being quite hands on while others will maintain a separation. Creative directors who are extremely familiar with graphics software, for example, can personally sit at the computer and achieve a 'look' for an advertisement that is the center of a new strategy for a brand.
Advertising creative directors are usually promoted from copywriting or art directing positions. Familiarity with film-making techniques is also common. Creative directors rise to become executive creative directors or chief creative officers, a position with executive responsibility for the entire creative department, and some progress to chairman of a firm.
Creative directors usually possess a VFX Movie, communication design or fine arts degree. Copywriters may have degrees in journalism, language arts or may develop more emphasis on advertising copywriting while pursuing a communication design degree.
With the increased team sizes and more specialised disciplines in the games industry, certain game designers are titled as 'creative director', 'executive designer' or 'game director'. A creative director in a videogame company is usually responsible for product development across a number of titles and is generally regarded as the prime design authority across the company's product range. Some examples are Peter Molyneux or Shigeru Miyamoto whose influence extends across more than one project.
The video game industry is very important when it comes to the roles of creative directors. The creative director has a very important responsibility in this industry because video games are all visual and motion graphic driven. The director must devise ideas to lead a video game project forward and many responsibilities involve working with various individuals or teams spread out within the entire project/video game production. This can include collaborating with motion graphic artists, 2D/3D animation developers, various illustrator artists and much more. Academically speaking, a creative director must have a bachelor’s degree, but there are some circumstances where a high school education strongly focusing on aspects such as art, graphics, computer science, and math can be acceptable and provide some valuable insight to students who hope to aspire in this field of work. Some skills that a creative director working in the video game industry must have include proficiency in computer programming, graphic development (illustrations, fine art), excellent interpersonal and writing skills (since they deal with many other clients and management leaders). Once a concept has been decided and agreed upon, it is up to the art director to recruit a responsible and skilled team. The magnitude of video game development is incredibly large and expensive and most of the time requires an enormous team of skilled people with experience in graphic, animation, illustration art work, and programming. As usual, the position of a creative director is not an entry spot. One would have to earn that role by showing their skills and development over a period of years. Creative directors have done their share of lower level startup positions such as internships or assisting other directors in art related work fields. It is all about advancing through the career chain and once one has earned the position a creative director, they may be eligible to work for larger and more popular game developing companies depending on how successful they have been with past collaborative projects.
- ^ "Artists and Related Workers ." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ocos092.htm>
- ^ "Art Directors." O*NET OnLine. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-1011.00>
- ^ Careers in focus:computer and video game design. 2nd ed. New York: Ferguson, 2009. p.17-24.
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