Job type

Advertising art director

£18k - £100k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Design and create advertising for a range of clients
  • Highly creative and high energy working environment
  • Great career progression opportunities for talented and ambitious people

Art Directors are responsible for the creation and development of advertising ideas, with particular focus on their visual appearance. These ideas can exist in many formats from posters and print advertisements, to TV commercials, cinema, radio, experiential, Direct Marketing leaflets, mobile applications and websites. The Art Director combines artistic sensibilities and understanding with knowledge of design and production processes to create work that engages those it is aimed at.

You'll work on projects for clients who want to promote their products and services and design the most appropriate campaigns to achieve their objectives. Each project will start with a briefing about the client, the product, the target audience and the advertising message you need to put across.


  • Work closely with a copywriter to create original ideas that fit your client's brief
  • Produce storyboards (for TV/video) or sketches of your ideas
  • Present the ideas to the agency's creative director and account team,
  • Help present ideas to the client
  • Make any changes that the client asks for
  • Hire graphic designers, artists, photographers or film companies to produce the artwork or TV ads
  • Choose studios or locations
  • Attend photo or film shoots
  • Make sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • Oversee the final editing of the finished adverts


You may often work on several projects at once under the supervision of a creative director. You could work at a recording studio, in an office or at a client's business.

Although you will mostly be working office hours, some unsociable working hours may be required if there are deadlines looming.

You'll need

Employers will often expect you to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in graphic design, advertising design, illustration, fine art, or another related creative area. Or, you can start in a junior role to develop your skills on the job and work your way up through training and promotion.

Work experience in an advertising agency, entering student competitions or attending industry events may help you make contacts when looking to find your first job. In particular, you could enter the D&AD New Blood competition, which is aimed at students and recent graduates not already employed in a creative role. It gives you the opportunity to work on real client briefs and showcase your work.

Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers. You'll need to show a portfolio or 'book' of your work when you're looking for jobs as you'll be employed if they like your artwork and ideas. You could build an online presence showcasing your work to show that you can relate to an audience.

D&AD has information and professional development programmes to help people build a portfolio and make contacts in the advertising industry.


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.