Creative directors usually develop an advertising campaign for a product
or design a handout for that product. They could also put together a video
to show to the company's stockholders.
They're in charge of the product's overall concept, themes and ideas. They
often work with a team to develop the concept.
"A creative director hires artists and writers to do whatever project at
hand needs doing," says creative director Susan Herr.
"For example, if a package needs to be designed, the creative director
decides the initial art direction of the package, taking into consideration
the way the product will be marketed, then either uses the staff or outside
people to accomplish the finished look."
Creative directors generally work for large companies or advertising agencies.
Many creative directors now work for online advertising companies. Working
for a web advertising company is a great way to build credentials and experience.
"The creative directors are pretty much the top of the hierarchical chain
and are generally vice-presidents. Creative directors are the ones who come
up with the concepts for the Nike 'just do it' ads, or whatever the tagline
might be," says Wayne Bennett. He is a creative director.
Creative directors often work long hours. That includes evenings and weekends.
They also have to travel a lot. Working under pressure is common because schedules
often change. Changing schedules often create new problems. And that means
new deadlines and goals to meet.
"One of the things that I personally dislike about being a creative director
is that you become more operational as opposed to creative -- many times,"
"That means you get stuck in the trap of making sure that your art directors
are doing what they need to be doing, as opposed to being the guy who's being
creative. If I had my choice, I'd spend 98 percent of my time being creative.
Those that are executing the concepts are the ones who're being creative."
What do companies look for when they hire creative directors? They should
be motivated and have lots of ideas and solutions.
They should be able to tell stories, deliver messages and think in different
media. Their aim is to use a single, memorable idea to communicate instantly.
Creative directors should also be flexible and firm at the same time. They
should be able to produce interesting good quality programs on time and within
their budget. Being computer-savvy's a great quality.
Excellent people skills are also important, because creative directors
have to work with other team members. Plus, they have to present and communicate
their ideas convincingly.