Bryce Cannon Witcher

Marketing & Creative Director

What is a Creative Director, and why does MY organization need one?

Case Studies & Creative Process

Skills Demonstrated

Creative Direction
Layout & Illustration

A Creative Director, many times working within a creative or production department, is a person who sets look and feel for a marketing campaign, manages the execution of the overarching campaign projects, and delivers all creative assets to the marketing team. While an excellent designer, information architect or writer in their own rite, this person usually leads a group of graphic designers, photographers, video producers, copywriters, social media specialists, and more, in the development, creation and delivery of specific content that fulfills the needs of the marketing funnel.

The Creative Director, through a well-honed balance of leadership with creativity, manages the day-to-day marketing production activities, supervising a team of artists and designers, proofing and approving ads, videos, social media posts, brochures, website landing pages, presentations and other deliverables. They are also responsible for media planning and content strategy, and demonstrate other skills such as psychology, politics and confidence to be a successful addition to an organization.

Creative Directors are ultimately responsible for:

  • Setting a creative vision.
  • Building and mentoring a creative team.
  • Conducting brainstorming sessions.
  • Managing production workflows.
  • Prioritizing resources.
  • Maintaining brand cohesion in all deliverables.
  • Pitching new concepts and ideas to internal and external clients.
  • Giving constructive criticism and actionable feedback to the creative team.
  • And generally, being the point person for any concerns regarding things like artwork files, brand guidelines and messaging.

Organizations need to communicate consistent messaging and personality to internal and external audiences, specifically target customers. Without this consistency, ads, content and sales messaging seem disjointed, confusing the consumers of that content.

An awesome Creative Director will have the following skills. (In my humble opinion, these are a minimum requirement.)

  • Mastery of digital design, including web design and development.
  • Expert user of all Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects. A hands-on leader in this area is extremely valuable here.
  • A knack for understanding color theory and typography.
  • Knows the ins and outs of drawing, logo creation, and photography.
  • Demonstrates great composition and layout skills.
  • Has a command of the English (or other) language and can write copy in various voices and writing styles.
  • Stays up to date with design trends, counterculture, and current events.
  • Maintains a perfect equilibrium between creativity without limits and practical limitations.

These are all great traits, Bryce, but you still haven’t answered why my organization needs a Creative Director.

Well, it comes down to creating efficiencies within a company’s hierarchy.

A Creative Director is a team leader accountable for keeping a marketing or brand campaign aligned with a cohesive visual style, tone and voice. Can a Marketing Director (usually focused on strategy and campaign execution) or Art Director (usually focused solely on aesthetics) do this too? Yes. But there is an advantage to having a Creative Director instead, as it merges these two positions into one single person. Creative Director innately knows how to communicate with teams of artists and designers. There is a difference in the way they think when compared to analysts and programmers. They have a need to express themselves through art, which is the home territory of the Creative Director.

Some Marketing Directors are in effect their companies’ Creative Directors. If this is the case in your organization, that’s great. But not all Marketing Directors have the creative training that many Creative Directors do.

Creativity is a very specific skill that is absolutely necessary in every organization.