Art direction is an essential tool in any visual communication project. It's the way in which we build a particular aesthetic for a purpose. Art direction is about presenting content to a group of people by creating a communication-based experience. It involves art directors, designers, photographers, illustrators, musicians, programmers, etc. In a design project, the art director deals with the strategic part of the project, coordinating and supervising the work of the designers and the rest of the creatives at their service.
Art direction conveys ideas with visual media, but it's not just visual creation
Years ago, the art director used to be related to visual tools, photography, illustration, graphics and typography combined with text. The role now has evolved immensely, with the intensification of new media.
An art director today may work in very diverse areas: advertising, digital, photography, editorial, fashion, audiovisual, performing arts, etc. Perhaps the role of the art director could be defined as guiding a certain group of people through content that is presented to them.
That's why the art director is able to appreciate and value visual content, such as writing, interaction, movement, audio, music and any other discipline that a project requires. On many occasions and depending on the nature of the project, the art director works with creatives with a very diverse profile and can create the necessary synergy so that there's flowing and productive communication between them.
The art director is a communicator. Their main function is to create a visual communication experience in which form and function materialise. Ideally, it's a matter of integrating functionality and beauty into a visual system. The director has the structure of a creative team that will forge their creative vision and bring the project to life.
The art director is a director
An art director leads a team of experienced creatives to carry through a visual design or communication project.
There are many aspects that are merely management. They need to be able to analyse and criticise other people's work, meet deadlines, keep within a budget, and occasionally have a little go at people who aren't giving their all.
But mainly they have to be able to lead and inspire and be a mentor to team members. What's more, they have to be able to recognise the talent of each member to take advantage of it and get the best out of each one of them. A good art director is someone humble who, even though they have a clear idea of what their vision is for a project, listens to the ideas of others and, if they're enhancing the project, give them a chance and incorporate them into the project underway.
We listen to our customers. They know more about their business than anyone
Art direction helps create visual solutions tailored to any strategy and customer, making each project and each issue require a different solution that fits the customer's needs. We often work for customers from very diverse industries and it's essential to understand what the details, tools and codes of each industry are in order to build projects tailored to each job. This is a fantastic opportunity to discover other worlds and other industries.
Change is the only thing that doesn't change
Art direction is a discipline in continuous evolution. It calls for ongoing renewal. Keeping abreast of things. Knowing what's going on. Typography, photography, trends, animation, memes... Not only is cultural baggage and knowledge of the most important and influential visual arts absolutely essential, but you also have to know how to incorporate - and detect - everything that's possibly around the corner. A voracious appetite for deciphering the visual and aesthetic codes around us is an undeniable attribute that cannot be ignored for a good performance in art direction.
Art direction has to trigger emotions
To be a successful art director, you have to be a connoisseur of life. You have to know the world and its people. You have to know how to move your audience and how to touch their hearts. You have to elicit feelings and emotions and be able to connect with a certain audience through communication pieces chiselled with the most sophisticated and tried-and-tested visual tools. You have to be able to tell stories, to build fiction for communication and to enlist disciples onto your ship through the game of the seduction.
Mastering symbology to master the message
Symbols are common archetypes that we all know and they are used to give meaning to the ideas we propose, for example, candles at a dinner. A symbolic ritual that is capable of radically transforming a normal dinner into a romantic dinner. Knowledge of symbology and visual and social codes is essential to know how to create allegories.
In this way, knowledge of semiotics, art, composition, light, narrative tools and visual tools are the superpowers with which the art director constructs bespoke communication experiences aimed at well-defined audiences.
What can we deliver?
Art direction for printed or digital publications. Art direction for photography, lifestyle, portraits, products or documentaries. Art direction for the creation of computer-generated images (CGI) or traditional illustration. Art direction for visually communicating your brand. Art direction for copywriting. Art direction for advertising and marketing. Art direction for the creation of products (bottles, perfumes, clothing, etc.)