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Art Direction

What is Art Direction?

Art Direction is a broad activity and the Art Director has to be overall responsible for any message of mass communication. An Art Director has to have detailed exposure to:

  • Developing the basic concept to be conveyed

  • Set Making,

  • Photography,

  • Presentation techniques for Content

  • Cinematography 

What does an Art Director do?

An art director is responsible for the visualisation of animations, photographs, or any other design materials in the newspaper, magazine, television or movie productions. 

Where can one study Art Direction?

Best Colleges/Institutes offering Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses are: 

  • National School of Drama, New Delhi 

  • Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune; 

  • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata 

  • Film & Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, Chennai

  • Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida 

Popular Colleges/Institutes offering certification and diploma courses are: 

  • Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai

  • Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), New Delhi

  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata 

  • Zee Institute of Creative Arts,  Mumbai

  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai 

What are the specializations Areas in Art Direction?

The various area of specialization are:

  • Advertising and Copywriting

  • Costume design

  • Photography

  • Desktop Publishing

and many more

What are the Job Prospects after acquiring UG or PG in Art Direction?

These days Art Direction has gained immense prominence and one get placed in:

  • Advertisement

  • TV production

  • Publishing

  • Movie making

  • Fashion Journalism

  • Leading Publishers

What are the special qualities required for pursuing this course?

  • This profession is essentially calling for the required talent and inclination for such jobs.

  • Experience is a big teacher in this profession.

  • It is both fascinating as well as a frustrating profession – you may not know what went right with the successful ventures and what went wrong with the failed attempts. So, you have to be prepared for all situations. 

  • One needs to have the 'eye’ for delivering quality. This is where experience works. 

What are the other areas where one can work as a Specialist in this field?

An Art Director can work in:

  • Fashion designing

  • Production of advertisements

  • Magazine publication

  • Set design and construction.

  • Photography editing

What is the expected Salary at the start?

As it is a very diverse field the remuneration varies from task to task. However, the usual remunerations for the fresh graduates in India are:

  • Avg. Salary in India - Rs 632,344

  • Avg. Early Career Salary (1-4 years) - Rs 468,783

  • Mid Career Salary (5-9 years) - Rs 667,967

  • Experienced Salary (10-19 years) - Rs 917,911

  • Avg. salary (20 years experience) - Rs 1,800,000

(Source: All salaries are per annum)

Who are the top recruiters in this field? 

The top recruiters for Art directors are:

  • Watergate Productions

  • Looking Glass Studios

  • Half Moon Entertainment

  • DNA Productions

  • Advertising agencies

  • Movie production houses

  • TV producers

  • Leading Publishers

  • Fashion Journalism

What are the growth prospects for a qualified Art Director? 

The scope for Art Director is rising rapidly not only in India but all across the globe. 

  • After completing graduation, one may opt for Masters as well in the field.

  • After completing graduation in Art Directors, students may work under the apprenticeship of a senior Art Director.

  • Movie production is by far the highest paying

  • On gaining adequate experience, Art Directors venture out on their own enterprise.

What kinds of books and study materials are available for pursuing UG/PG course in this stream? 

  • Inside Art Direction: Interviews and Case Studies by Steven Brower

  • Creative Direction in a Digital World: A Guide to Being a Modern Creative Director by Adam Harrell

  • Art Director and Editorial Design by Yolanda Zappaterra 

  • The Advertising Concept Book: Think Now, Design Later by Pete Berry

Interesting facts about Art Direction:

  • From 1912 to 1948, artwork inspired by sports was a part of the Olympic games. Top 3 artworks influenced by sports were given medals during this period.

  • Academy Awards, in the category of ‘Best Art Director’ also includes the Set Decorators.

  • Alumnus Jessica is a famous award-winning ‘Art Director’ created commercials for Delta, Diet Coke, Clinique, Google and many more.