How to Write an Art Director Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Art Director leads a team of other employees, directing the creation of the visual elements of film and television, marketing campaigns, social media videos, magazines, advertisements, and other types of media. Their duties include monitoring the success of past projects, negotiating with social media influencers and other independent contractors, and requesting edits from their team members if clients aren’t satisfied with the content.

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Art Director duties and responsibilities

Art Directors ensure that the art team follows the project guidelines. They create style guides for Artists, Graphic Designers, Filmmakers, and other professionals. They decide on themes for advertising campaigns, and they hire Models, Artists, and other professionals. Other duties and responsibilities in an Art Director job description may include:

  • Reviewing content to make sure it meets project requirements 
  • Completing performance evaluations for employees and contractors, and giving feedback when needed
  • Analyzing sales statistics, ratings, and surveys from readers and viewers to determine the success of projects
  • Keeping all stakeholders up-to-date about changes in messaging or visual style
  • Authorizing expenses and making sure the department sticks to the budget
  • Making sure employees meet deadlines
  • Attending regular meetings and creating reports for executives
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Art Director Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Art Director Mercury Filmworks is looking for an experienced Art Director to join our team in Ottawa. This position is an excellent opportunity to live in Canada’s beautiful capital city while working alongside our creative team to inspire and lead the visual direction of a 2D production. We genuinely believe in attracting the best and brightest for our team, creating the most engaging and impressive animated productions. We're looking for someone with a proven track record of creative leadership, interpersonal skills, and animation production experience who shares those ideals and wants to help lead our company into the future. Job Description: The successful candidate will have an exceptional track record with at least 5 years of hands on experience as an art director or with related work experience. This is a key leadership role that partners with the Producer, Line Producer, Production and Director to execute the creative vision of the show while working within the schedule and budget for the series. Responsibilities run from leading the design department to generating artwork in areas which may include character, environment and props, to establishing mood, lighting, and helping communicate story concepts. Key Responsibilities: * Set the visual style of the series, creating conceptual and production artwork. * Provide clear and detailed direction to your design team on every assignment * Manage Director and Creator/EP expectations * Review designs and ensure they're of the highest quality and to production and client standards * Review episodes in different stages of production to ensure the show’s look is maintained * Communicate effective and solutions to design problems * Oversee design team, delegating work and monitoring their schedules to create and maintain consistency with the design of the project * Approve all color backgrounds and color created by the color stylists for the characters, props and effects * Attend breakdown meetings and give input from the Art Department’s point of view * Read attend Storyboard pitches and Animatic reviews, flagging potential complexity or design issues Requirements: * Minimum 5 years of related work experience is required. * Strong skills in character design, location design, composition and colour. * Must be able to lead, mentor and motivate a team of artists to ensure quality in a timely manner. * Must be highly creative and story driven with the ability to work within tight deadlines. * Ability to align with style and sensibility of show. * Positive attitude with the ability to be flexible. * Excellent organizational, verbal, written, e-social skills and acumen. * A broad knowledge of artistic styles and latest technology is an asset. * Knowledge of drawing software that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Harmony and 3D technology, where applicable. What about benefits? * Employees have access to our comprehensive benefit plan, after a brief probationary period, that includes Health and Dental coverage, Life Insurance and Travel Insurance. * Our Employee Assistance Program provides each employee and their family members access to free psychological assistance and counselling service in person, online or by phone 24/7. * Plan for your future by taking advantage of our RRSP plan. The longer you’re with us, the more we’ll match the amount you contribute! Small Print: Mercury Filmworks places as great an emphasis on recruiting for character and fit as it does on core skills and experience. Qualified candidates that meet ALL the characteristics above are encouraged to apply regardless of where they live. All candidates must be willing to test in advance of an interview. Mercury Filmworks is an equal opportunity employer, and by equal, we really mean equal. We have no preferences or bias beyond the professional qualifications. Job Type: Full-time

What does an Art Director do?

An Art Director oversees the visual aspects of media content, including marketing campaigns, magazines, online publications, and videos. Art Directors work closely with clients to create brand identities for companies. They make sure that all content has a coherent style that attracts viewers and readers. Art Directors often design or select cover art and image layouts for the interior pages of books and magazines. They sometimes work with Film Directors, Set Designers, and Matte Painters to create backgrounds in films, and they suggest locations for outdoor scenes. Art Directors can also supervise the art direction of a company website and other web content.

Art Director skills and qualifications

Successful Art Directors are creative, professional, and organized. They often have extensive film, photography, or art skills, and they can work with a variety of people and personalities. Some skills and qualifications for an Art Director include:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Good time management skills and ability to manage multiple deadlines
  • Extensive understanding of the products or services that the company sells and its industry 
  • Knowledge of industry regulations
  • Ability to resolve creative disputes between employees

Art Director experience requirements

Most Art Director jobs require at least five years of experience in a related art direction role. They should have a well-developed portfolio of successful projects. Ideal candidates will generally also have some experience in a management role. Look for candidates with two or more years in a management or supervisory role.

Art Director education and training requirements

Many Art Director jobs require a bachelor’s degree in art, graphic design, web design, filmmaking, theatre, broadcasting, journalism, or a similar subject. However, candidates without a university degree may also be great candidates as long as they have experience and a solid portfolio. On-the-job training is usually required, and Art Directors will need to keep their knowledge current about new graphic design, filmmaking, and animation techniques.

Art Director salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Art Director in Canada is $80,480 per year. This salary may vary depending on the region, employee’s previous experience, and the hiring company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If an Art Director isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, some similar job description samples include:

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Art Director job description FAQs

Who does an Art Director report to?

Art Directors in certain industries report to a Creative Director that oversees all aspects of projects, not just the visual parts. Art Directors often collaborate with Creative Directors and give them regular updates about the progress of team members and the project. They may also report to a Project Manager or Project Director.

What is a typical day like for an Art Director?

Some Art Directors work as independent contractors, and others are employees. They can work full-time or part-time, and Art Directors sometimes work from home. Many Art Directors travel to sets for filming or photography. They can also search for props and furniture. Their hours may vary depending on deadlines and filming schedules. They spend most of their time reviewing visual content and communicating with employees and contractors. They may need to attend regular meetings with the production team and the Project Manager or Director.

What makes a good Art Director job description?

To write an effective Art Director job description, include an overview of the company and the type of media that the new Art Director will help create. Also, mention the organization’s culture and values, and the skills required. You can talk about any benefits that come with the position, like the opportunity to work with renowned actors, directors, or artists and expand their portfolio. Let readers know how much Art Directors will need to travel and how many projects they will handle at once as well.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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