Creative director (noun) : one who directs, supervises, or coordinates designs
Starting off 2022 with a creative director leading your design and marketing projects can be life-changing. This essential role is one that’s often overlooked, but one that’s vital to any brand. Rather than spending days hiring and chasing down creatives, having a creative director as a main point of contact can save you tons of time and money. Just think about all of the times you’ve thought to yourself, I wish I had someone to handle this for me, and now you can!
Yes, hiring a creative director can be very costly, however, Designity’s unique model makes it simple. Designity welcomed creative directors in its model to not only oversee the quality of deliverables, but to make the creative process even more hassle-free for clients. Plus, with how fast things change in the creative industry, it’s important to have someone help you navigate the times.
What Does a Creative Director Do Exactly?
While strong project management skills are a must for a great creative director, that’s not the only thing. Essentially, creative directors are a hybrid between a visual designer and a project manager–with a passion for guiding others. Knowing what exactly these powerful team leaders tackle on a daily basis can open up the possibility of welcoming one to your own creative team. So here’s what they have to bring to the table.
They’re directors for a reason.
As if it weren’t obvious already, creative directors are natural-born leaders. Being a leader calls for being the decision-maker, mentor, and at times, a teacher. Having advanced visual design skills and being able to apply them to different areas and industries is just a part of the package. This goes beyond directing clients to fresh, new ideas, but also requires guiding teams to ensure five-star quality outcomes.
The best part of this is not having to spend countless hours spell-checking or measuring margins. Creative directors present you with finished, polished work, ready for your review. This is thanks to the decades-long experience they bring along with them and all the time they spend in giving effective feedback. From their deep understanding of brand personas to their imagination in creative problem solving, every part of their expertise is used when directing.
Because of their love for details and expertise in design, creative directors equip teams with the tools necessary to carry out their projects. This is done by establishing and communicating clear directions in an effective way. And while these creative superheroes tackle all of these roles simultaneously, they bring unique ideas to the table, ensuring that everything they touch and create stands out from the crowd.
By fully owning the brand they envision, they’re better able to execute consistent work from an inside and outside lens. In simple terms, their job is to direct you on the right path, and that’s what they’re best at.
They’re masters in project management.
While project management is a big part of the job, it includes much more than planning out a calendar. This important position is responsible for everything from before starting a project to after it’s all finished. This includes consulting and creating comprehensive project briefs, detailed timelines, and managing teams to deliver projects on time and within budget.
Every journey starts with a consultation to discuss things like goals and objectives. Understanding the problem and possible solutions are key to drafting a successful project brief. Putting together all of this planning ensures that nothing is missed and all involved are on the same page.
You might think that’s it, but management, in general, is no simple job. Because creative directors act as an extension of the teams they manage, they’re also responsible for assigning qualified creatives to compatible projects–all while working closely with them to ensure projects are being carried out successfully.
As both a project manager and brand manager, working closely together facilitates consistency, which is a great added bonus for companies on multiple channels. The organizing of files, assets, and workflows are all a part of managing projects, taking a major workload off of teams’ shoulders. This makes it easier to focus more on growing as a company knowing that everything is handled and you now have the capacity to scale.
They’re highly effective communicators.
If by now you’re thinking, wow creative directors do a lot, they do. Project management and direction are just two pieces of the entire trio. In order to be a great leader, you also have to be an effective communicator. Great design relies heavily on effective communication to ensure consistency.
Whether it be talking to stakeholders or mentoring a team of creatives, directors know just how to facilitate a conversation. Introducing a conversation well before you think of it is just one of the things they do to keep everyone on track and proactive.
This is particularly relevant at Designity, where creative directors collaborate with clients on a daily basis. Through weekly recurring video calls and other communication channels, teams are able to keep each other updated and more importantly, consistent. In order to do this, directors are responsible for facilitating meaningful conversations to carry out design-led solutions.
This role enacts similar to that of a translator, where creative directors are able to educate, share, and discuss creative topics in a manner that’s understandable to the other party. By listening to client needs and interpreting them into actionable outcomes, it makes it much easier for teams to get the ball rolling on new projects.
The takeaway is simple.
The answer to why you need a creative director is simple. Companies of all shapes and sizes face the same challenges that all could be solved by adding in the helping hand. Whether it be a lack of management, inadequate expertise, or the inability to scale, creative directors are the leaders you need to go through 2022 with your best foot forward.
With areas like project management, creative direction, and communication handled for you, there won’t be anything you can’t do. It’s no surprise why so many companies equip their teams with creative directors, making it a big surprise to see why you haven’t…yet.