Knowing your Art Director : Exactly What does he do?

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Knowing your Art Director : Exactly What does he do?

This article is aimed a providing the reader with a basic understanding of the job of an art director on a movie set.

Maybe you’ve seen the term art director in the credits of a movie, or on a call sheet, but you’re not quite sure what it means to be one. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking to learn more, or a graphic designer who wants to know how to become an art director, this post is for you. We’ll outline the art director job description by defining the role. Let’s jump into the basics.


What does an art director do?

What is an art director?

An art director is creates and manages the overall design and visual style for websites, ad campaigns, magazines, newspapers, photoshoots, and movie and TV productions. While their duties vary depending on the industry they’re in, they set the general artistic tone, using images and visuals to bring concepts to life. They direct other designers to develop artwork and various layouts per project. 


  • Determine how to present concept visually 
  • Selecting which photos, art, or other elements to use
  • Develop overall style and communicate to team
  • Manage and supervise designer
  • Reviews and approve designs
  • Communicates with clients to develop artistic approach/style
  • Coordinate with all artistic departments
  • Develops budgets and timelines for project completion

As mentioned above, an art director job description varies depending on the industry. Let’s briefly see how. 

Movie/TV Production 

Art directors collaborate with crew to determine what sets are needed for each scene. They are usually the production designer’s second-hand. On smaller sets and photoshoots, they can be one-in-the-same.They also participate in hiring and supervising assistant art directors and other designers.

 Advertising Art Director

It's the art director’s responsibility to ensure that the client’s intended message is delivered clearly and creatively to consumers. To do this, the art director directs and coordinates with designers until the images or visual style is reflective of client’s vision.

Publishing and Print

They determine the page layout, cover artwork, and overall visual style of magazines, books, and even online publications.

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