Art Director

Senior Level // Design Department

What does an Art Director?

An Art Director is responsible for the art and design of the books. This includes managing a team who are involved in activities such as the design of the cover of the book, researching pictures to include in books and working with design agencies, freelancers, photographers, artists and illustrators. As well as being a very creative person, the art director has to manage budgets and money, manage lots of projects and meet deadlines, solving any problems along the way.

The Art Director will both run their department and team and work closely with other departments including the editorial and sales departments to ensure that the art and design is suitable for the content of the book and for where the book will be sold.

What is an Art Director good at?

  • Art and Design; a creative person who can work with computer design software and who can be proactive in looking for fresh design solutions and new formats
  • Management; working with suppliers and a team; working with freelancers and agencies, managing a team of other creative people
  • Budget management; managing the money on projects, negotiating good deals with suppliers and freelancers
  • Project management; efficient at meeting conflicting deadlines and often working on several different books at different stages of production
  • Communication; working with lots of different types of people both in the team and in other teams, leading the team of cover designers, chairing regular meetings

Who does an Art Director work with?

The Art Director works with a team of designers as well as freelancers. They also work with colleagues in editorial and production.

How do I become an Art Director?

An Art Director usually has experience as a senior designer and a portfolio of their design work. 

Learn more about what it’s like to be an Art Director: