Art Director jobs and careers
An Art Director is a conceptual role typically found within agencies. The Art Director will often be paired with a Creative Copywriter. Their job is to create concepts and then work closely with the rest of the creative team (especially Designers) to deliver those concepts into creative collateral. An Art Director could be above the line, below the line or fully integrated into delivery. The Art Director is a senior and often leadership position within the agency team. Art Directors are often good illustrators, handy with a pencil and pad - able to sketch and scamp ideas when needed. Some Art Directors prefer to focus on the conceptual aspect whereas others will be confident visualising their designs.
Why consider a career as an Art Director?
Art Direction is a fast-paced and varied role where no two days will be the same. You’ll get the opportunity to be creative on a daily basis and enjoy defining the creative vision across a wide range of media.
What a career or job as an Art Director may entail…
As part of a creative studio, your job will be conceptual in the main. Depending on team structure, you may work in partnership with a copywriter when crafting ideas but this varies from studio to studio. The Art Director will work closely with the Creative Director to deliver concepts across a variety of channels; these could be digital, DM (direct marketing) or digital. Once an overarching concept is defined, they will work collaboratively with the rest of the creative team (Designers, Artworkers, Copywriters etc.) to finalise the concepts into finished designs ready for launch.
Typical role titles include
Junior Art Director
Midweight Art Director
Senior Art Director
Career progression example
Senior Art Director
Head of Art Direction
At an entry level, Art Directors on average will be earning between £32k-£40k. At the mid-level you’d be looking to earn £40k-48k and Seniors would be looking to earn £48k+.
Is it right for me? The skills it takes...
An overarching knowledge of design concepts is key, as while you don’t necessarily have to come from a design background, you should have sound knowledge of design to be able to effectively lead creative teams and direct design processes and projects.
What qualifications does it take?
You will usually need a foundation degree or diploma within a relevant subject. For example, these could include graphic design, graphic communication, illustration, art, creative writing, marketing or branding.
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— Specialist Brand and FMCG AgencyLocation:BathSalary:Upto £50kWork in a business with fantastic remote infrastructure and process. Deliver creative for globally renowned brands. Enjoy a tight knit, collaborative and caring culture. We’re looking for both midweight and senior Designers to join one of our agency partners in Bath; a specialist brand design agency with a strong FMCG packaging specialism. What you’ll be doing A strong year and healthy pipeline of new and retained business means they’re busy at all levels and in need of experienced packaging creatives to bolster the team. You’ll be joining the agency at an exciting time of growth and delivering world class FMCG creative for their clients old and new. Though you will work alongside experienced FMCG artworkers you’ll need to be confident with the detail yourself and be able to execute to a high standard too. We’re open to midweight as well as seniors so the expectation at each level will match experience; crucially though you’ll need to know FMCG inside out and be able to evidence it with a great portfolio of relevant projects. For a long time the business has had a robust infrastructure for distributed teams and has adapted quickly to the current situation so you’ll be working with a crew that is thriving during lockdown and a culture that’s fit for the world as it is today. If you’re an experienced FMCG creative and looking to work with a small, ambitious team then get in touch. Expect work of the highest calibre, but no ego’s in sight. We’re looking for designers from midweight to senior. Permanent hires being a focus but contractors please express interest too. What experience you’ll need Be a specialist with an FMCG focus in your work. Conceptual skills as well as execution. Prior agency experience, comfortable with the cadence of agency work and project delivery. With seniority be able to display real strategic thinking. Evidence of working with globally renowned FMCG brands. Self-motivated, committed and reliable. Able to work from home for now with high speed internet and a high-quality monitor. What you’ll get in return for your talents Salary will depend on experience, but you can expect up to around £50k at the senior end. You’ll be joining a team that’s well renowned for having a strong culture, one that works hard but crucially looks after it’s people too. You’ll be working with a team that’s well suited to the current situation and when you’re back in the office you’ll be in a wonderful studio with all the bells and whistles of an agency work space. What’s next? Please apply with an up to date CV and portfolio to be considered or call Sam on 01179 269 530.
— Start-upLocation:CardiffSalary:Upto £50kDeliver experience for web and native app. Enjoy a great office space with an on-site gym, games room and top location. Play a key role in the businesses UX maturity and design capability. We’re looking for a UX Designer to join a product team in Cardiff. What you’ll be doing As the first dedicated UX hire for the business you will join a tight knit product team and report into a newly appointed Head of Product. This is an exciting time to join as user experience and product thinking capability and understanding grows. As well as the Head of Product you will work closely with a Visual Designer and the in-house development team. Your responsibilities will centre around research and insight, wireframing and prototyping new journeys and testing your designs with users. The product has already seen great success in the market but you will work closely with the CX and customer services teams to gather deeper insight on user behaviour, what is exciting users and what might not be delivering as well as it could. This is a great opportunity for a user centred designer to make real impact as part of a fast moving and ambitious start-up team. What experience you’ll need to apply Previous experience in a UX role with capability in research, prototyping and testing. A portfolio of UX deliverables that showcases your user advocacy and understanding. Capable with modern design and prototyping tools (e.g Sketch, Figma, Axure etc) Experienced in a variety of testing methods including A/B testing. Experience of working on Fintech or financial services products desirable. An entrepreneurial spirit, self-motivated and driven to succeed. Experience of working on native apps desirable (IOS & Android). Familiarity with usability tools (such as Hotjar, Crazy Egg or Decibel insight). Comfortable working in Agile/Scrum environment. What you’ll get in return for your experience You’ll enjoy some great benefits including private medical cover, flexible working, a contemporary office space (as part of a creative community of businesses), onsite gym a games room and more. What's next? Please apply with an up to date CV and portfolio or case studies showcasing the desired experience.
— Top Bristol AgencyLocation:BristolSalary:Circa £65kJoin a thriving digital agency with a robust client base. Carve out your own UX function and grow a team. Be part of a tight senior team with shared ambition. We’re looking for a UX lead to join a top Bristol agency. This role will sit amongst a growing digital team and help build out a UX function in line with the agency’s ambitious digital strategy. What you’ll be doing The agency has a rich history of creating meaningful and purpose driven creative for its clients and over the years their offering has become increasingly digital, crucial to their next phase of growth is a senior UX hire. With 20 years in the business, a strong and motivated senior team it’s a great time to join. A robust client base means they’re in good footing and have a strong pipeline of digital work. The agency is already delivering on UX projects and has capability both within the design team and at a senior level amongst the directors but this role will be a dedicated resource and focus on growing the internal capability further. For this we need someone with experience of delivering UX in an agency or client led environment; you’ll need to understand the delivery and cadence of agency work and how to implement UX solutions fit for purpose, budget and scope, matching varying client needs. As a natural leader and manager, you’ll work well with a team and your experience will guide you on who to use on what project and when you might need to get hands on yourself. You’ll know how to get the most out of your people and how to coach and guide others. This role would suit a hands-on leader with a well-rounded skillset in UX. They have fantastic creative skills in-house so it’ll be important you bring experience that can add value to discovery work, research and experience design. From day one there will be opportunities to grow the team, and quite quickly they can see 2 midweights being needed in addition. What experience you'll need to apply Agency experience or experience of working within a business with multiple and varying client needs. A UX practitioner with skills in discovery and UX design. Previous leadership or management experience and the ambition to grow a team / function. Experience of delivering digital solutions to enterprise clients. Passionate about your craft, involved in the wider UX community. What you’ll get in return for your experience This is a great opportunity for an experienced UXer to join a team and carve out their own function amongst an already successful business. You’ll receive a competitive salary, a mature and progressive culture to call home and the influence to make a difference. What’s next? If you’re interested please apply with an up to date CV and portfolio to be considered.
— Purpose Driven AgencyLocation:BristolSalary:Upto £28kJoin a purpose driven team passionate about sustainability and a greener future. Design and animate for a wide variety of creative challenges. Enjoy a great working culture and flexibility. We’re looking for a multidisciplinary Designer with animation skills to join a purpose driven agency team in Bristol. What you’ll be doing You’ll be joining a small but growing agency with big ambitions. You’ll work alongside one other designer and be responsible for creating graphics, campaigns and storytelling animations for purpose driven brands. Naturally you’ll be highly experienced in the Adobe Creative Suite and have a good grasp on brand, social media creative and animated / video content. Being part of a small team means being adaptable and open minded, you’ll wear a few hats and respond to a wide variety of creative briefs. Due to the nature of the work you’ll need a deep passion for sustainability and a desire to get under the skin of brands that have social and environmental goals, whether they're already making a difference or looking to do better. You’ll come with a knowledge of sustainability yourself but always be looking to learn more and broaden your own horizons in and outside of work. This is a dream role in so many ways! What you’ll need to be considered A designer capable of creating graphic communications and animation / motion graphics. Experience in the Adobe Creative Suite and animation / video editing software. A big passion for the environment and creating a more sustainable future evidenced by your actions, hobbies and interests. A creative and conceptual mindset, able to truly understand a problem and how to communicate purpose through creativity. Able to work remotely for now and eventually in central Bristol. Curious and always eager to learn. What you’ll get in return for your experience You’ll join an inclusive and purpose driven team with great prospects as the agency grows. What’s next If you’re interested please apply with an up to date CV and portfolio to be considered.
— Premium BrandLocation:GloucestershireSalary:DOELead the creative and strategic execution for a premium greetings card range. Manage a multidisciplinary design and artwork team as part of an ambitious and driven business Competitive salary and package on offer This is the opportunity for a commercially driven creative to join a premium design studio in Gloucestershire. The head of design will join an established and well-respected brand and have the opportunity to help build and shape the future both creatively and commercially with the new dynamic company owners. What you’ll be doing The business is well known for its premium design and execution in greetings cards and giftware. The studio generates its own artwork in house as well as commissioning creative from external sources and licensing partners. Their customers include some of the biggest names in retail as well as a number of charity organisations and a thriving export business. The Head of Design will focus on key areas for the business including conceptual creative, people management and product and commercial strategy. This role will report into the Group Creative Director who will play a key supporting and guidance role. As Head of Design you will manage a team of 7 including design, artwork and a creative support manager. Leading by example you will provide creative concepts and support the execution of over 2000 new products per year plus the opportunity for bespoke customer projects and line extensions. We are looking for someone to increase the creativity and output within the internal studio, reinvigorate their portfolio and develop the brand and packaging strategy. A great communicator with a passion for design and brand you will be very hands on and work with existing licensors to add to the portfolio where required to ensure the business retains its position as the ‘go to’ destination for their genre of greetings cards and revitalises their humour offer which has underperformed in recent years. Naturally this role will require someone with an understanding of the greetings card industry as you’ll be expected to deliver ideas that are relevant, current, targeted, innovative, commercially successful and cost effective. You’ll need to make the most of data and have a forward thinking mind set and be able to work a year ahead and anticipate the customer and market requirements in caption, design, text and colour. No detail is too small. You will enjoy challenging the creative team whilst maintaining the volume of output, accuracy, the brand positioning and customer expectations whilst maintaining the high-quality standards needed. Plus, you will be used to setting budgets and working to them. The whole business is focused on great design and product and you can count on the support and cooperation of an experienced and engaged senior management team and a focused Creative Director plus a loyal and demanding customer base. You will also have the benefit of being part of a larger group with experience in both cards and the ‘ink on paper’ sector. As an effective leader you will be managing a mixture of skillsets and personalities and ensuring that good ideas are briefed in detail, executed with integrity and designed with precision and to the critical path and launch strategy. Any issues must be communicated to internal stakeholders and solutions found. This is an exciting opportunity to revitalise and drive the creative output for an established brand and work with some of the biggest names in retail. To be successful you’ll be motivated by keeping creativity fresh, owning the product strategy, driving the packaging, having pride in all marketing and advertising materials and delivering 1000s of high quality products on time for sale on fixtures up and down the UK and around the world. What experience you’ll need to apply Degree qualified in graphic design or a related field. Be a truly experienced design leader, conceptual and strategic in your work. A deep understanding of design, brand, merchandising and marketing. A background within the greetings card or, failing that, the giftware or giftpackaging market. Experience of working with FMCG and a high volume of product SKUs. Experience in licensing Ability to plan cards and work on ‘captioning’ early on in the design process and balance sentiment appropriate for Genre. A sound commercial focus and understanding of budgets and targets and high attention to detail Can demonstrate that you are used to working in a time pressured environment and able to deliver and manage a critical path. Proven track record in leadership and line management of a creative team Data driven in your approach to product strategy and market analysis. Experience in Excel, Mac, Office and Windows and has used non-design databases in the course of their work and can demonstrate the ability to extract and use data as part of their decision-making process Knowledge in Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop, Illustrator and Creative Cloud What you’ll get in return for your experience This is the chance to join a business well known in its sector, you’ll have ownership and autonomy to develop their offering and be given all the tools needed to succeed. The culture is collaborative, driven and friendly with a desire to succeed. On offer is a competitive salary, pension scheme, life assurance and a host of other great benefits. What's next? Please apply with an up to date CV and portfolio of work to be considered. A covering note on why you're well suited for the position will also be beneficial.
Design case studies
Establishing a creative department with the right mindset
- Create Health is specialist healthcare marketing agency with a mission and fascination for new healthcare technologies, treatments and methods of care.
- In the search for a new Creative Director we were approached to match them with an individual that could take their creative to the next level, be part of the board and support the growth of the agency over the coming years.
- We ran an end-to-end recruitment campaign in search for this pivotal hire, including advertising and an extensive head hunt within our diverse network.
- Since 2014, we’ve helped the Creative Director establish a permanent creative team with the right mindset – consisting of an Art Director, Designers, a Copywriter and a freelance pool of trusted creatives that scale up the studio at short notice.
“Since joining Create Health, I’ve had a clear vision of what I want to build. ADLIB have invested the time to truly understand this, meaning the permanent and freelance candidates they send through are always spot on. This not only makes the process easier and more enjoyable, it saves a lot of time.”
Phil Blackmore, Creative Director at Create Health
Rita Cervetto, Service Designer
- Rita is a Service Designer, with a background of UX and visual design.While working full time in a design studio in Manchester (Lovedby), she had recently moved to Bristol and approached us to get an understanding of the local market, especially opportunities in product and UX and to line up projects in the South West.
- We took the time to understand what really makes Rita tick, appreciating that contract was her focus at the time but also understanding that the right permanent job could be a great move for her.
- We matched her with exactly that as one of our clients were looking for a UX Lead to work on a new digital service. An opportunity that really got her excited.
- She started in this Lead role, as Senior UX Designer within Ovo Energy, looking after the experience of thousands of customers from day one.
"From the moment I got in touch with ADLIB I felt I was in safe hands. Sam’s understanding of the industry was instrumental in me making the decision to give up consulting and take this epic opportunity at Ovo. He helped me throughout the interview process, kept me informed and offered great advice at key times. I’d recommend them to any professional looking for knowledgeable support finding great career opportunities.”
Rita Cervetto, Service Designer