If you love dreaming up big ideas, leading a team of creatives and working with clients to make them happen, this job could be the perfect fit for you. But, be warned—being a creative director is a juggling act of fostering magical potentials while meeting practical deadlines and budget constraints.
Creative directors are the bridge between their company and their creative teams. They understand the needs of each team member and can translate them into projects that are aesthetically pleasing and communicate the right message to consumers. Creative directors also play a crucial role as liaisons between their clients and their creative teams—they manage the project from start to finish and ensure that everyone is on the same page about goals and expectations.
Regardless of the industry or project, it’s important for creative directors to have a broad knowledge of design, branding, writing, marketing and public relations. Being familiar with cinematography techniques, color theory, art history, design trends, pop culture and counterculture can help them come up with concepts that are on-brand and resonate with audiences.
While a bachelor’s degree is often the minimum requirement to become a creative director, hiring managers are looking for candidates with extensive professional experience in marketing or branding roles. You may have a degree in graphic design, advertising or fine arts, but you’ll probably need to spend 5-10 years building your skillset through experience in other roles. If you have a modern leadership portfolio and a few years of creative experience, you’re well on your way to becoming a creative director.