Are you a person that is always ready to listen to people’s ideas, no matter how crappy they are? 

However, are you the person who not just listens to these ideas but refines and develops them into some amazing ideas? 

If the answer is yes, then a career as a creative director might be for, since these are the people who spend most of their time trying to think something out of the box and help an organization build a face for themselves. 

Fanta’s identity of being a fun and young brand or Google’s identity of being an innovation-led brand is something that we know through the advertisements these companies have shown us. But who created them? Along with a lot of people, the creative director here plays a huge role to convey the image the organization wants its audience to form in their mind. 

But what exactly does a creative director do? What kind of growth can be expected in the role? Where do these creative directors work? All these questions and many more will be answered in this article and will help you provide an overview of your career as a creative director! 

What does a creative director do? 

A creative director chooses the brand’s or project’s creative vision and uses digital, print, and film installations to make that vision apparent. From the idea stage through the execution, they would be involved in every facet of a collaboration. They oversee and direct copywriters, artists, and designers and ensure that the graphics, language, and/or interactive and motion designs are on point. Their task is to preserve the consistent look and feel of a project, be it an advertising campaign, fashion line, video game, or magazine. 

Their day-to-day responsibilities include: 

  • Collaborating with the brand team to develop fresh concepts for brand positioning, advertising strategies, and marketing communications.
  • Reviewing new data, evaluating trends, and remaining current with marketing strategies.
  • Leading creative workshops and brainstorming gatherings.
  • Establishing protocols and brand standards to make sure all items are in line with the brand.
  • Overseeing the daily operations of the department, allocating project workloads, and keeping an eye on budgets and deadlines.
  • Responding to inquiries in a timely and competent manner will help clients solve problems.
  • Putting together and carrying out specialised marketing strategies based on the needs of each customer.
  • Creating excellent and expertly prepared copy that satisfies customer needs.

Job Roles for a Creative Director 

Creative" Director various job roles
You will not only be the “Creative director”. There are various roles you can try out! Source

The creative director position usually comes with years of experience. However, similar to a creative director there are a few roles that include the following: 

  • Graphic designer: 
    Using computer software or by hand, graphic designers create visual designs to express ideas that move, educate, and enthral people. For applications like commercials, brochures, magazines, and reports, they create the overall layout and production design.
  • Copywriter: 
    For the goal of promoting goods and services on behalf of a client, copywriters conduct research, make plans, and produce written material (also known as copy). Ads, slogans, blogs, emails, sales letters, technical documents, speeches, scripts, and website text are all examples of this content.
  • Art Director: 
    Very similar to a creative director, the art director oversees the work of illustrators, graphic/visual designers, photographers, and other people involved in artwork or layout design. In all, they inspire and drive the design team’s vision.
  • Marketing Manager: 
    Marketing managers plan and execute marketing initiatives to create demand for goods and services and increase consumer awareness of them. Various activities can be included in this broad description, such as: creating, overseeing, and assessing marketing programs. 
  • Creative Specialist: 
    A creative professional utilizes layout and visual design strategies to increase the impact of online information. They may be responsible for generating or refining web page layouts. They emphasize both usability and attractive text and imagery.
  • Creative Consultant: 
    In order to enhance a screenplay, advertising campaign, or other artistic or commercial endeavours, a creative consultant is hired. A creative consultant weighs the writer’s or the project’s creative objectives against the project’s business viability.

Career Paths to becoming a Creative Director 

PATH 1: Via Commerce stream 

To become a creative director you can take up commerce in your 11th and 12th grades. Post that, there are various undergraduate degrees that can help you in your journey to becoming a creative director. The self-financed courses like Bachelors of Mass media (BMM), or Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) are degrees that you can pursue. 

BMM is a three-year study divided into six semesters and covers topics linked to communication and its mediums, including newspapers, radio, and television. On the other hand, BBA with a specialization in Marketing is also a three-year program that seeks to teach students the fundamental and crucial marketing techniques to help them promote their goods, businesses, and services.

PATH 2: Via Fine Arts 

With this route, you are required to take up humanities in your 11th and 12th grades post which you are eligible to take admissions into fine arts courses. Some of the courses that are of help to prepare you for a creative director role include B.Des (Bachelors in Designing)- either in Fashion or Graphic Designing, B.Sc in Graphic Designing, B.A. (in Fashion/Graphic/Photography) or Bachelors in Fine Arts in graphics (BFA-Graphics). 

A BFA program not only educates students but also improves their talents so they can become artists in their chosen fields. Depending on the candidate’s selected specialization, a BFA program can be studied full-time, part-time, online, or through distance learning and normally lasts three to four years.

To know more about the career paths, you can visit our blog on How to become a Creative Director.

Salary in different stages of Career as a Creative director 

In India, the average gross pay for a creative director catalogue is 8,23,271 INR. 

Wage estimates based on data from anonymous Indian employees and employers via salary surveys have also informed of the following information: 

Level Entry-level (1-3 years) Middle level (4-7 years)Experienced (8+ years) 
Salary/year (in INR)6,05,5218,23,27110,27,345

Skills required to become a Creative Director 

Creative vision- one of the important skills
You would need a creative vision just like the artist who created this! Source
  • Creative Vision 
    Creative directors need great creative vision to create innovative concepts for companies. These directors might also make use of this ability to guarantee that the plans stay transparent. They must ensure that the marketing or creative teams are aware of the project’s goals and their stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Exceptional Communication skills: 
    A creative director’s great communication skills are valued a lot because in the graphic design industry it is essential to look for people who can express their thoughts and goals clearly. But in addition to being able to express their own thoughts, they need also to have the creative ability to make those ideas a reality. The same would apply to printed materials. 
  • Highly decisive: 
    It is their responsibility to support the creative vision of the teams, and that can only be done by providing clear direction and constructive criticism. Decisiveness and conviction in your knowledge and ideas are key. Have faith in your command of aesthetics, typography, colour, and shape. A superb design has never sprung from vacillating indecision.
  • Project Management: 
    Project management abilities are often needed by creative directors to guide and assist numerous teams and departments during each project. These abilities also guarantee that the directors can manage and guarantee the success of their campaigns from beginning to end. This could entail following a plan and budget, fulfilling deadlines, assigning resources, and corresponding with higher management and stakeholders.
Storytelling - one of the important skills for a creative director
Storytelling-as good as this one! Source
  • Storytelling: 
    Good storytellers are necessary for great brands. Take advantage of the chance to speak with a client in person by telling them a captivating narrative. While you tell this tale, you ought to feel nothing less than thrilled. Your positive energy then becomes infectious to them all. 
  • Resourcefulness: 
    Resourcefulness and creativity are closely related. How successfully have they handled the pressure of the marketing and communications sector’s continual change? Thus, someone who has a positive outlook and isn’t scared to start over from scratch is a person you have to be! 

Is becoming a Creative director a good career option? 

Creative directors work in a variety of sectors. They lead the creative teams in movie studios, publications, marketing and ad agencies, nonprofit organisations, and for-profit businesses.

Creative director memes
Despite the growth, there are going to be situations like these! Source

Additionally, creative directors have the potential to make large wages while working in managerial positions. Directors who have a significant body of work and have expertise in developing projects for several media, including digital, may have more career opportunities and earning potential. For a seasoned creative worker who is familiar with the industry, being a creative director is a profitable and fulfilling career path.

Types of Industries hiring for a Creative Director 

Art directors can be hired in a wide range of industries and positions. The following list includes some of the industries where art directors are most in demand.

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Periodicals
  • book publishers
  • public relations firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Marketing Agencies 
  • Pictures in motion
  • Video games
  • graphic design
  • Film and Television 

Top Recruiters hiring for Creative Directors 

  • Hotstar 
  • Deloitte
  • Publicis Groupe 
  • Freelancer 
  • Byju’s 
  • DDB Mudra Group
  • Accenture 
  • McCann Worldgroup

Courses to Up-skill as a Creative Director 

Here are some courses that you can do to upskill yourself as a creative director: 

Certificate Course Institute offering the online courses Duration 
Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making Alison 1.5 – 3 hours 
From Brand to Image: Creating High Impact Campaigns that tell brand stories IE Business school 1-3 months 
Creativity Tips for all Weekly LinkedIn Learning 7 hours 28 mins 
Creative Thinking Strategies for Leaders LinkedIn Learning 1 hour 20 mins 
Best Instagram Marketing Strategies to Follow and Implement in 30 daysAlison 3-4 hours 
Innovation Through Design: Think, Make, Break and Repeat The University of Sydney 1-3 months 
Creativity Boot Camp LinkedIn Learning 48 mins 
Jr. MBA in Branding and Design Clever Harvey  15 hours 
Brand Management: Aligning business, brand, and behaviour the University of London 1-3 months 

Clever Harvey offers the JuniorMBA in Design&Branding program which provides industry experience and certification to upskill yourself.

Qualifications to become a Creative Director 

Degrees in India 

There is no subject specification that is required in your 11th or 12th grade for you to become a creative director. However, there are certain undergraduate degrees that you can pursue. 

UG Degrees: 

The undergraduate degree also varies based on the sector you are interested in because creative directors need to have industry knowledge. Depending on which of the following alternatives appeals to you, you can choose to pursue it:

Undergraduate Degree Duration 
Commerce: BBM BBA (in Marketing/Advertising)BMM (in Journalism)3 Years 
Fine Arts B.Des (Bachelors in Designing)- either in Fashion or Graphic Designing B.Sc in Graphic DesigningB.A. (in Fashion/Graphic/Photography) 3-4 Years 

PG Courses: 

Some of the higher study options in India include degrees like: 

Post-graduate Courses Duration 
M.Des in Multimedia 2 Years 
M.A. in Graphic Design 2 Years 
Masters of Fine Arts  2 Years 

Degrees Abroad 

The structure, approach towards teaching, and curriculum differ abroad. Some of the degrees that you might want to check out include BSD- in Graphic Designing, B.A. (Hons) in Graphic Designing with Marketing, Bachelor of Design in Graphic Designing and Illustration, BFA- Design Concentration in Graphic and Information Design, Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, BBA in Marketing. These courses usually take 3-5 years to complete. 

Some of the higher study options abroad include degrees like MDes in Industrial Design, Master of Design /Business Administration (M.B.A.), and Master of Design (Communication Design). These courses are usually 1-2 years long and would require on-campus training. 

Entry into these courses will require you to give language proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, SATs, etc along with an SOP (Statement of Purpose) and LORs (Letter of Recommendation). Want some help with SATs? We have got you covered. Read this blog to know more!

Want to know more? Check these cool resources out: 

Some of the books that you can check out include: 

  • Creative Direction in a Digital World: A Guide to Being a Modern Creative Director- Adam Harrell
  • Creative Directions: Mastering the Transition from Talent to Leader- Jason Sperling
  • Creative Direction in a Digital World: A Guide to Being a Modern Creative Director- Adam Harrell
  • Book of Ideas: A Journal of Creative Direction and Graphic Design- Jason Sperling

There is no doubt that being a creative director is not an easy profession. But if you are a design thinker, it is highly fulfilling and gratifying work. A creative director needs to rise above the conventionality of consuming a product and ask “why.” Obviously, it’s difficult to think in this way. Therefore, people with years of experience hold such a role. If this career appeals to you, you can begin preparing early.

FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions about a career as a Creative Director

What is required to become a creative director?

For training as a creative director, you need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, marketing, or a related field and 7–10 years of experience. A creative director might make a good major in graphic design, graphic art, or marketing.

Is creative director a good career?

Creative directors have the potential to make large wages while working in managerial positions. Directors who have a good portfolio of work and have designed projects for numerous media types, including digital, may have additional job opportunities and earning potential.

What distinguishes a creative director from an art director?

An art director, by definition, is just concerned with aesthetics, whereas a creative director is responsible for strategy, campaign execution, art direction, and other duties. An art director will know the names of the fonts that would work, whereas a creative director can ask for a bold font to convey strength.

Is the creative director the same as a designer?

The original design for a project that satisfies the requirements and preferences of a client is created under the direction of the design director. On the other hand, creative directors focus on creating digital or audio programs, coming up with commercials, or choosing certain images or photographs to use in a layout.

Can you become a creative director without a degree?

Although the majority of producers and directors hold bachelor’s degrees, you can become a creative director without one. Even while it’s common for directors to get master’s degrees, it’s not necessary. Without a degree, you’ll need to have a lot of professional experience in your chosen sector to become a creative director.

What is higher than the creative director?

Depending on the agency, group creative directors (GCDs), executive creative directors (ECDs), and chief creative officers (CCOs) may all exist above the position of creative director.

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