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Art directors work in advertising agency creative teams, usually alongside copywriters. They are in charge of designing, producing or approving the visual aspect of an advert. Traditionally a copywriter produces words or copy and an art director will be in charge of images, however, these roles are becoming more and more interwoven.
Art directors work on adverts in all media: print, television and film, and online. For each account, they will be given a creative brief from the client, account planner, executive or manager which will state the client’s objectives, its values, its target audience and the messages it wants to convey through an advertising campaign.
Art directors will meet regularly with account handlers in order to report on progress so that the handlers can keep the client up-to-date. They will also meet with copywriters and designers to discuss a client brief and brainstorm ideas. Ideas for campaigns will then be pitched to the creative director, followed by the client, for approval or amendment. In the event that work is rejected by either the creative director or the client, the art director will have to restart or modify their work until all parties are satisfied.
They will normally work alongside production teams, source photographers, artists, production companies and external creatives and oversee the whole process until completion.
Art directors need to stay up-to-date with both consumer and advertising trends, current affairs and popular culture, in order to both source inspiration and produce the most relevant and engaging campaigns.