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Creative Director

How To Become a Creative Director (or Art Director) in Bangladesh?

A creative/art director is one of the most influential executive positions you can achieve in a company. 

Working as a creative/art director is like working at the heart of a company. In simpler words, a creative or art director is like a conductor conducting the orchestra – someone who controls the song from start to the end. However, the road to getting there is a steep road that requires plenty of knowledge, skills, and especially experience. 

So, if you are thinking of questions like – what is a creative/art director? How can I become a creative/art director? In this article, we will cover all about how to become a creative/art director.

 

What Is A Creative/Art Director?

A creative/art director is a position offered to a person who is expected to lead a creative department in a company. In this role, you are expected to run a creative team under your guidance and work on any aspect that requires a creative output. 

The hierarchy of the creative team is something like this:

Creative Director (sometimes called ‘art director’)
(top)

Art Director
(in some organizations the creative director and art director are the same people)

Creative Visualizer / Graphic Designer
(bottom)

 

A Creative/Art Director can lead a promotional campaign for a TVC/OVC, work on branding a new company, etc. Overall, the role of a creative director is to add the creative aspect and make a narrative to make the project eye-catchy.

 

Creative Director vs. Art Director

creative director vs art director

The difference between a creative director and an art director is pretty minimal. In fact, in some agencies, they are used interchangeably and indicate the same position. However, there is a nuanced difference.

An art director is a person that’s focused on visuals and the aesthetics of a particular production. So an art director might not know everything when it comes to business or marketing, but they know how to create creatives that look good. 

On the other hand, the creative director focuses on how visuals and marketing connect. This makes it essential for a creative director to have a design background and understand marketing strategies, business, and client management.

For example – A creative director might ask the art director, “Hey, can you find a bold font because we want this company to feel very strong.”

And the art director might say, “Alright, we can choose between ‘Serif’ or ‘San serif,’ or ‘Didot.’

 

What Does A Creative Director Do?

The role of a creative/art director makes them the hub of the company. In short, here are the duties of a creative director:

  1. Direct the creative composition of a project like – promotional content, social media content, TVC, brand promotion, etc
  2. Brainstorm new ideas with the creative team for the project, etc
  3. Spot recent trends, use new data to pinpoint customers, know the latest market research techniques, etc
  4. Maintain communication with clients, align the clients and the team with the correct vision of the project, try to explain the issues by answering questions, etc
  5. Create a comprehensive and eye-catchy marketing plan with an appropriate narrative.
  6. Direct the creative teams, maintain communication with other groups, and keep everyone focused on the project
  7. Reassessing the brand standards, creating brand awareness campaigns, and creating new procedures to ensure all the products are branded appropriately and to the theme of the client’s requirement
  8. Provide a high creative output that aligns with the client’s requirements

 

In Bangladesh, a Creative Director’s responsibilities are mixed with managerial responsibilities. As a result, most companies recruit candidates as Managing Directors, CEO, etc. Some digital marketing or ad agencies recruit creative directors separately.

 

Qualification Requirements To Become A Creative Director

  1. Bachelor’s degree in – Arts, Graphic Design, Marketing, Communication, Management, Communications, Journalism, etc
  2. Minimum 7-8 years of experience working in a digital marketing agency or a creative space.
  3. Experience with creative design, leading a design team, understanding copy, communication skills, software skills, etc.
  4. Good understanding of copy, copywriting, and best web design practices
  5. Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  6. Profound knowledge of brand development, understanding of different marketing tools, business models, etc
  7. Working experience in creative thinking and working with in-house teams

 

These are the essential requirement to work as a creative director. However, you need more than just a background in arts to become a creative director. Skills necessary are – marketing skills, team management, client communications, business models, customer acquisition, meaningful graphic design, etc.

In my 10+ years of experience, every At-The-Line (ATL) Marketing Agency in Bangladesh recruits for the Creative Director position based on experience first and qualifications later. However, having a sound background in arts, graphics design, marketing, management, communications, etc., is expected and preferred.

 

Roadmap To Become A Creative Director

The journey to becoming a creative director is a one-way road, but there is a hierarchy to cover to get there. You have to start as a creative visualizer and climb up the ladder. You also need at least 7-8 years of working experience to gain the expertise to work in this position. Here is a general idea of how to become a creative director:

  1. Creative Visualizer (Intern):

    Experience Required: 0-1 years

    Skills Required: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

    Salary Expectation: 0-10k (monthly)

    The first position on your road to becoming a creative director is to work as a creative visualizer. Usually, people start in this position as an intern with 0-1 years experience and come from an Arts or a Graphics Design background.

    Most of their work involves creating 2D and 3D images, for example –  creating a 2D logo, making promotional banners, designing promotional content for social media, 2D designs, etc.

  2. Jr. Creative Visualizer:

    Experience Required: 1-2 years

    Skills Required: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

    Salary Expectation: 20-25k (monthly)

    A junior creative visualizer is a promoted candidate after passing the intern phase. At this point, they know how the company works on its requirements, how the creative outputs are met, etc.

    Most junior creative visualizers usually work based on the direction of the senior and the associate creative directors and provide different creative outputs based on the theme and narrative provided by the strategic planning team.

  3. Senior Creative Visualizer

    Experience Required: 2-3 years

    Skills Required: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

    Salary Expectation: 35-45k (monthly)

    With a few years of experience, a senior creative visualizer is capable of working on versatile projects. Apart from static design, their main expertise is – working on videos, motion graphics, etc. So you can also call them ‘Multimedia Designers’.

    For example – as a part of your client’s brand promotion campaign, you may need to design motion graphics content. In addition, you may also need to create static designs like – banners, brochures, social media posts, etc.

    Most senior visualizers usually work in a team of 3-4 people with at least two interns. They typically work on the ideas, implement creative ideas, provide new insights, and train the interns on-site.

  4. Associate Art Director

    Experience Required: 4-5 years

    Skills Required: Adobe AfterEffects, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

    Salary Expectation: 55-65k (monthly)

    An Associate Art Director, together with the Senior Art Director, coordinates the creative team, providing creative direction, brainstorming ideas, providing feedback, and keeping everyone motivated in the project.

    Working in this position, you are expected to have a strong design background and the ability to understand meaningful design. Also, you are expected to provide the perfect creative guidance and the narrative for a project.

    For example – suppose your creative team is launching a campaign for Robi 4.5G internet. As an Associate Art Director, you will be tasked with providing creative guidance, brainstorming ideas with the team, discussing what visualizations to use, what words to write in the copy, etc.

  5. Senior Art Director

    Experience Required: 6+ years

    Skills Required: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

    Salary Expectation: 70-80k (monthly)

    The Senior Art Director gives the creative guidance for any project and assigns each team to his projects. Overall, they are responsible for setting the creative direction, tone, composition, and visual aspects of the project.

    Also, the Senior Art Director is responsible for explaining the creative concepts to the Creative Director and delivering the narrative effectively. In addition, they also confirm the final creative output and which one will be presented to the Creative Director.

  6. Creative Director

    Experience Required: 8+ years

    Skills Required: 

    1. Static Designing: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.
    2. Video Making: Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere.
    3. Client Acquiring, Management, and Communication
    4. Marketing Knowledge, Understanding Business Models, etc.

    Salary Expectation: Anything above 80k (monthly)

    The Creative Director is the most influential position and ‘The Face’ of a company. Working in this position demands a person to have design knowledge mixed with business, marketing, and communication skills.

    A Creative Director finalizes all creative projects in a company and is also the one who pitches the final version to the client. Lastly, as a creative director, you are expected to understand business, your client’s needs, the customer’s needs, and what creative output needs to be pitched to sell it to the customers.

 

Job Placement

Job placement opportunities are limited for the position of creative director because of its steep learning curve and the time required to reach that position. However, most creative industries are moving forward with appointing a creative director for their projects.

The top job placements for creative directors are in the Advertisement industry, Digital Marketing industry, film industry, and telecom industry.

 

Job Recommendation (Here Is One You Would Love)

Bizcope, one of Bangladesh’s leading digital marketing agencies, is currently recruiting creative minds. We are recruiting actively to expand our creative units by recruiting in the Creative Visualizers (Senior and Junior), and Art Director positions. There is the option to rise through the ranks and get to the creative director position.

So, if you feel like you can be the missing piece of the Bizcope ecosystem, just say hi and drop your information. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Final Words

Becoming a creative director is like walking a one-way road – you just need to acquire the right skills, knowledge, and expertise. But, first, to get to your goal, you need to know the answer to these two questions.

  1.  Do you have the required design sense to fulfill your client’s requirements?
  2. What is the purpose of my creative input in this project? (What are you selling? How are you going to sell it? Do you understand how the client’s business operates? Who are your client’s targeted customers?)

Knowing the answers to these questions in every project will give you the insights to learn more about the business, marketing, and communications side of a project other than the design itself. Besides, it will also help you to understand how to become a creative director in the long run.

Above all, working as a creative director demands a person to be passionate, patient, and observant in every skill they acquire to become a creative director. Furthermore, the biggest challenge in this profession is connecting the dots between creative output, business, marketing, communication, and understanding what the client needs.

 

 

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