In advertising, the idea is king. But if it doesn’t look great, nobody will notice it. Art direction students work with copywriters, photographers and designers to develop print ads, digital messages, guerrilla concepts, and other brand communications nobody has even thought of yet. And what it all looks like – from the typeface of the headline to where the logo is placed – that’s the job of the art director. Taught the craft by industry pros, art direction students end up with a portfolio that can land them the best jobs in the business.
The Creative Circus Art Direction curriculum is based on real-world practices. Course work is broken down into three basic areas of study – strategy, concept and execution. To work in the communication arts industry, an Art Director must show proficiency in all three areas.
Strategy is the beginning of the creative process. In strategy classes, the student will get a firm understanding of branding, media integration and writing creative briefs.
Before an Art Director can begin thinking about a final portfolio, he or she must also master the fundamental skills required for visual communication. Typography, color theory, image creation and design principles, along with mastery of the Art Director’s primary tool – the computer – are all part of the process. And since Art Directors share responsibility for every project with their creative partner, early classes are offered in the basics of copywriting.
Once the fundamentals of strategy, creativity and design are learned, the art direction student applies these skills in the concept classes, the core of our curriculum, which is taught at all levels. In these classes the Art Director is teamed with a Copywriter to develop ideas for speculative real-world assignments. Once the creative team comes up with a concept based on a sound strategy, the execution is reviewed and refined in layout classes.
To graduate from The Creative Circus, an art director’s final portfolio must show proficiency in strategic thinking, conceptual interpretation, and creative execution. The work in the portfolio should also show a range of creative solutions, audiences, types of media, and voices. Prior to graduation, every student creates a personal identity package, a resumé, mini-books, and a web site.
During the final quarter, students meet with the Director of Career Services to discuss career goals and objectives. Graduating Art Directors also work with an industry professional on personal presentation skills that will benefit them during interviews or presentations to a client.
Graduates have access to our alumni listings, agency contacts, portfolio reviews and direct personal assistance from the Director of Career Services, whose services alumni can continue to use the throughout their career.
For more information on the Art Direction program, contact our Department Head of Advertising.