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Advertising art director

Art directors design the visual side of advertising campaigns for all kinds of media including film, TV, web or print.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £100,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Advertising art director jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • working closely with a copywriter to create original ideas that fit your client's brief
  • producing storyboards (for TV commercials) or sketches of your ideas
  • presenting the ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
  • helping present ideas to the client
  • making any changes that the client asks for
  • hiring graphic designers, artists, photographers or film companies to produce the artwork or TV ads
  • choosing studios or locations and attending photo or film shoots
  • making sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • overseeing the final editing of the finished adverts.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • graduate trainee scheme

University

Employers will often expect you to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • graphic design
  • advertising design
  • illustration
  • fine art

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

Work

You can start as a junior creative to develop your skills on the job and work your way up through training and promotion.

Volunteering and experience

You could get some experience before applying for your first job. This will give you a better understanding of the industry and is a good way to make useful contacts.

You can contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through relevant groups on social networking sites like LinkedIn. You can get more advice on how to approach advertising agencies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Other routes

In larger advertising agencies, you may be trained through a structured graduate scheme, if you have a relevant degree.

£18,000 to £100,000

Starter salary: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced salary: up to £45,000

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You could work at a recording studio, in an office or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

With experience, you could progress to senior art director or creative director.

You could also work freelance or set up your own agency.

Some art directors move into directing for TV or film.

Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers.

When looking for jobs, you'll need to show a portfolio or 'book' of your work to potential employers, as you'll be employed on the strength of your artwork and ideas.

You can find out more about becoming careers in advertising from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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