How to Become a Creative Director

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A creative director is the person in charge of a team that designs the visual aspects of a brand—whether it’s a film, video game, fashion line, or advertising campaign. They establish a brand’s graphical vision and make sure all the products, marketing materials, and backstories of that company’s fictional universe all fit within it.

Typically, creative directors have several years of experience in their field and a bachelor’s degree in design, art, or advertising. They also have the ability to work with clients and understand their detailed requirements for a creative project. A good creative director knows how to communicate these ideas to their team and is able to roll up their sleeves when necessary.

For someone looking to become a creative director, finding an internship or fellowship is a great way to get started. You can learn the ropes and gain experience with a variety of projects, while building up your portfolio. Then, once you’ve gained the necessary skills to take on a senior role, you can start climbing the ladder in your current field.

A creative director needs to be constantly consuming inspiration—whether that’s following the work of incredible visual artists on Instagram, holing up in a library with a stack of design books, or walking down the streets of a city and committing the architecture to memory. They also need elevated soft skills to manage teams and stay organized under pressure. Finally, they need to be able to translate the ideas of their teammates into real-life concepts and products.

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