It's many designers' ultimate goal to become the creative director of a successful agency. So what kind of qualities do you need to become a creative director, and how do you go about steering your career in a direction that will ultimately win you the position? Read on to get some ideas.
A great Creative Director in digital has the ability to show creative brilliance and the ability to deliver on it via a great understanding of the audience they are addressing, or a single mindedness to make an idea happen.
Digital Creative Directors are conceptual thinkers with a keen business sense and awareness of the online space. They formulate the innovative concepts that support a company’s brand, marketing, product, or online goals. They keep their teams of designers, copywriters, photographers, and web developers inspired and ensure that their creative output adheres strictly to the brand standards and delivers business results.
Creative directors in the digital field manage the art and graphic images of their clients or agency’s business or service. They will likely manage the art related to marketing materials, including websites, applications, advertising, brochures and other media items, as well as product and packaging design. Creative directors are often required to manage a team, which can include graphic and digital designers.
It’s one thing to specialise in a certain area of the creative industry and knowing your subject inside out is essential, nonetheless maintaining good peripheral vision is a must too. Working as a Creative Director in a digital agency you will be responsible for producing websites, applications, social and mobile experiences, but you will need to follow what’s going on in branding and advertising, and the wider creative community. Digital is bringing many disciplines together, so it’s essential to keep a very open mind to anything creatively exciting from any industry.
The upper-level position involves a great deal of stress and working under strict deadlines. Many creative directors put in several years’ worth of experience before they obtain the position. However, the career offers a higher-than-average salary and also provides a good deal of creative control over a brand.
Employers typically prefer that creative directors have an undergraduate degree in either marketing or graphic design in addition to 7-10 years of experience.
Becoming a creative director inevitably involves less time in front of Photoshop and more time leading and hopefully inspiring others. They are constantly creating new concepts and digital strategies and pushing the boundaries. The role is to inspire, innovate and motivate, but you also have to put the time in – often much more hours per week than most other staff. It is not just about dressing cool and looking good, or having enough gel in your hair.
If you fall into this role you will be responsible for keeping things on brand, ensuring that your ideas are appropriate and applicable to the purpose and mission statement of the organisation. You also will need people management skills. You can't just lock yourself in your office all day and not speak to anyone. You will have to regularly interact with other managers and staff at senior levels, ensuring that your ideas match the current time-frames of other existing projects.
Above all be adaptable. No day is ever the same in this role, and you will also be required to travel to conferences and expos, or even speak at public events. It's an exciting role, great for highly intelligent dreamers who can turn their dreams into reality.
This blog is the sixth in our eight part series exploring what it's like to have a career in the digital world. Our next piece will take a look at the ins and outs of being a project manager.
If you or your business is looking for help with social media management, then get in touch with iFactory. We are an expert design and digital solutions company offering professional assistance in every aspect of creating, managing and optimising your online presence: from social media management, content creation, and content marketing in Brisbane. Our team includes highly experienced designers, developers, marketing managers and social media managers.
Want to know more about careers in digital or what a digital agency can offer you? Check out our blog series on Careers in Digital.