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What Does an Interactive Art Director Do?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2014
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An interactive art director develops ideas and concepts to be used in communicating and connecting brands, products and services with consumers through creative devices like theme, symbolism and metaphor in an interactive format like a website or blog. This position requires knowledge of the latest digital design software, publishing technology, and other programs used to create, design and build interactive websites, blogs, micro-sites and any other digital online asset. An interactive art director typically works for an advertising agency, marketing agency or publishing house and may be part of an internal creative services or design team.

The position of interactive art director typically requires several years experience in web development or web design. The ability to interact and effectively communicate with clients is imperative. Working closely with ad teams, creative teams, copywriters and others, the interactive art director must be able to provide creative input and ideas for any number of products or services. Multitasking is a prerequisite. The ability and willingness to lead creative meetings, discuss concepts, their ultimate execution, and effective implementation into the digital marketplace for several products or services simultaneously is a must.

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In order to perform all the creative duties of an interactive art director, the ability to put superior ideas and concepts into a medium that accomplishes the client's objectives is mandatory. Most art directors have developed this ability to conceptualize early in life while others have been trained in college or while working on the job with other art directors or creative directors. Typically, an effective art director has the ability to come up with a large number of ideas or concepts very quickly. Taking the best ideas and combining them with a particular style of design within an interactive electronic, online or digital context is the main task of an interactive art director.

An interactive art director needs to have more than just a basic knowledge of HTML code, JavaScript and PhotoShop®. This position requires a highly refined design sense, creative skills, and a working knowledge of software programs like Adobe Creative Suite®, Macromedia Dreamweaver® and Adobe GoLive®. Knowledge of flash animation, website analytics, e-commerce site development, and search engine optimization (SEO) will also provide an advantage. In some situations, a web developer or web designer may also work in conjunction with an interactive art director who may have more creative skill than technical knowledge.

Staying ahead of a continually emerging and changing technology is one of the most important aspects of the interactive art director position. Typically this requires attending several training sessions or seminars throughout the year. Since the software is continually changing and improving, these training sessions ensure that the interactive art director is up-to-date on the latest trends, software updates, and technical capabilities of the various types of software programs.

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