{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "From your perspective as <your role>, what are the qualities of a great Art Director?", "post_id": "5dd0cea03d172700214443af", "reply_count": 31, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

From your perspective as <your role>, what are the qualities of a great Art Director?

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1) You have to be great at conceptual thinking 2) You have to understand advertising and what a great work stands for. For clients and for the industry itself. 3) you have to be great in your kraft. 4) you have to be hands on and fast 5) you have to study the best art directors in the world to know what’s the highest level of art direction. 6) you have to bring fresh visual insights. It has been working for me.

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Yes. The industry is truly falling for this reason.

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Knows how to write headlines, copy and dialogue even though it’s not their assigned specialty.

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You all continually take what I say out of context. I literally said “[advertising] is a dual effort between art and language,” which is fundamentally the same thing as a “symbiotic relationship.” You simply said it better because that is what you are specialized in: writing. I have never once stated I think that an AD should be ignorant to copy, far from it. I simply have always stated that if we are using copy to determine whether someone is a great AD then this industry is in a rough spot. You want me to “write visually,” totally, that is my job, but I am not going to expect my filler title to make it into our pitch deck. I’m not going to proof read your paragraph blocks. Someone out there is far better at those things than me. It’s a partnership, and yah maybe I’ll come up with a good word from time to time, but that isn’t what should portray my abilities as a creative.

Same as the qualities of a great copywriter - confidence that stops well short of hubris. Decisiveness. The ability to treat production and postproduction artists as collaborators rather than servants.

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Execution is everything. I’ve seen great strategies become mediocre campaigns because of poor art direction. I’ve seen poor strategies become award winners because of great art direction. I have to fight every week with resourcing to work with the best in our agency. It’s worth it.

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The best ADs for me, as a producer, are ones that have some idea of costs and feasibility. They don’t present stuff that’s so amazingly far out of budget or just near impossible. Example: the least talented guy I had the misfortune of working with would hang his idea on something that wasn’t possible in the time or budget, and would then get really snippy when someone pointed that out- like custom manufacturing something in China for a qty of 500 and in 2 weeks, or shooting something that involved hundreds of props, or controlling the weather... You’d offer workarounds and he’d flip out that it wasn’t what he had in mind.

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The best Art Directors I have worked with are flexible and interested in every form of visual style and expression. The worst thing in the world, as a writer, is to feel like some of my ideas are off the table because my AD doesn't understand/like an entire genre of design.

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Have actual ideas, not “let’s do this one cool thing I saw in a comic book movie recently.”

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Ah, I’ve been working with a freelance AD just like that for the past couple weeks... Random tactics that look cool with only a tenuous conceptual link to the strategy. The CD literally sighs every time they open their mouth lol

Knowing the adobe creative suite inside and out.

In my opinion, a great art director doesn’t get in his/her own way. They keep it simple.

Would love to hear more about what you mean by getting in their own way!

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