From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term art director, is an overall title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games.
In publishing, where the term originated, an art director organizes the pages of a magazine or newspaper and in consultation with an editor, chooses or designs accompanying pictures or graphics. Typically, this art director reports to the editor. At larger books or magazines, there are assistant and associate art directors that report to the art director. Many times a Design Director oversees the entire team.
Art directors in advertising aren't necessarily the head of an art department although the title may suggest it. In modern advertising practice, they typically work in tandem with a copywriter. Together, the art director and copywriter work on a concept for commercials, print advertisements, and any other advertising medium. Individually, the art director is mostly responsible for the visual look and feel of the creative product, and the copywriter has ultimate responsibility for the product's verbal and textual content. Both are responsible for coming up with big, effective and persuasive ideas. Depending on the competencies of each, they may share tasks that are traditionally designated for one or the other, for instance, an art director may suggest certain wording and a copywriter may suggest a certain aesthetic for a project.
The art director/copywriter tandem is overseen by a creative director. Art directors may also oversee a team of junior designers, image developers and production artists. In a smaller organization the art director may fill these roles as well. In a larger organization, art directors may oversee other art directors in a senior/junior art director relationship.
An art director, in the hierarchical structure of a film art department, works directly below the production designer, and above the set designer and set decorator. A large part of their duties include the administrative aspects of the art department. They are responsible for assigning tasks to personnel, keeping track of the art department budget and scheduling, as well as overall quality control. They are often also a liaison to other departments; especially the construction department. In the past, the art director title was used to denote the head of the art department (hence the Academy Award for Best Art Direction). On the movie Gone With the Wind, David O. Selznick felt that
William Cameron Menzies had such a significant role in the look of the film, that the title Art Director was not sufficient, and so he gave Menzies the title of Production Designer. The title has become more common, and now Production Designer is commonly used as the title for the head of the Art Department, although the title actually implies control over every visual aspect of a film, including costumes.
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