As heads of the creative team, Creative Directors establish the visual identity of an organization and lead its creative output. They are in charge of developing proposals that meet the needs and goals established by Account Executives and clients. In this regard, these individuals supervise and review the work of the creative team (e.g. Photographers, Graphic Designers, Artists, and Copywriters).
The Creative Directors’ vision is essential when it comes to interpreting the demands and particularities of a brand, product, or service. They’re considered experts in all stages of the creative process, meaning their role is crucial to the Marketing, Communications, Advertising, and Sales departments. These professionals oversee and direct every creative work done, including printing collateral, designing websites and email campaigns, and planning television and radio advertising.
This position is commonly found in fields such as Advertising, Graphic Design, Fashion, Media, or Entertainment. Moreover, Creative Directors commonly work either as in-house professionals or as part of an agency team. In-house Creative Directors are more specialized, since their work focuses solely on the organization they work for. On the other hand, Creative Directors working in agencies have a more diversified practice because they usually deal with a broad variety of clients who have their own industries and interests.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Creative Directors are required to complete.
- Establishing the company’s creative philosophy, objectives, and strategies that will lead their creative output:
- Developing creative strategies for marketing, advertising, and branding campaigns;
- conceiving and implementing concepts and guidelines in the execution of creative projects and overseeing them to completion; and
- ensuring the quality and coherence of visuals and messaging, as well as interactive and motion designs.
- Supervising, mentoring, motivating, and monitoring the performance of the creative team in order to ensure the overall efficiency of daily operations:
- Assigning, overseeing, and monitoring copywrite, design, and other creative tasks;
- coordinating brainstorming sessions with the creative staff to generate ideas;
- keeping up-to-date, and ensuring that employees are up-to-date, on branding, marketing, and advertising trends and technological advances;
- establishing schedules for short-term and long-term projects, planning tasks accordingly, and ensuring goals and deadlines are met;
- ensuring that the execution of all creative work stays within budget; and
- assisting the Human Resources department in the hiring and managing of freelance and full-time Copywriters, Graphic Designers, and other members of the creative team.
- Liaising with the Sales, Marketing, and Advertising teams to interpret the client’s vision and turn it into a tangible and deliverable product:
- Setting up meetings with clients to understand their goals, needs, and expectations, and summarizing key information to colleagues and employees;
- researching references, statistics, and trends related to their clients’ industries;
- studying and analyzing marketing plans by examining outcomes and opportunities, in order to extract the most outstanding ones for their inclusion in new initiatives; and
- carrying out the presentation of final layouts, ensuring clients understand the proposal, and obtaining their approval and ensuring their satisfaction in order to execute the initiatives provided.
- Establishing deadlines and assigning tasks accordingly, tracking and overseeing all creative activities of different staff members.
- Developing creative concepts, such as visual material, for marketing and advertising purposes.
- Assessing, reviewing, and curating creative content before submitting the final layout.
- Presenting and explaining proposals to clients, seeking their approval and feedback in order to modify the proposals accordingly.
The average Creative Director salary is $118,791 per year or $61 per hour. This is around 3.6 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $83,000 while most experienced workers make up to $166,000. These results are based on 13 salaries extracted from job descriptions.