Creative Director

Average Salary: £48,000 +
Competition: HIGH
Years Experience: 10 years +

“It’s a very specialised skill that relies a lot on your eye…”

Kelly, Creative Director

Job Summary

Creative Directors are the visionary geniuses that are responsible for making your favourite brand, cool. Think Apple and its sleek adverts. Creative Directors lead by design and innovation. Within the marketing industry, they are known to direct and flaunt their prowess in many areas, such as advertising, content and website design.


The hint is really in the name. Rather than produce content, a Creative Director looks to steer the ship of creativity according to the organisation’s values and behaviours. Usually, they would be getting involved with:

  • Translating an organisation’s goals into innovative brand and product strategy
  • Understanding and interpreting the needs of the clients
  • Organising creative sessions for project kick-off
  • Managing multiple creative projects and staff
  • Creating an overall visual framework
  • Supervising and motivating the creative team
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest moves and trends

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Creative Director should:

  • Have a passion for creativity and innovation
  • Be able to lead, motivate and influence the creative team towards the strategic vision
  • Have an understanding of design and attention to detail
  • Be organised and have excellent time-management skills
  • Be able to communicate effectively with internal and external audiences
  • Have an understanding of the latest creative trends

Entry Routes

Unlike many other professions, there’s not really a set route to become a Creative Director. For example, it doesn’t require a particular degree to obtain. However, it would probably be wise to study a degree that would relate to the job duties and industry you’re about to work in. In this case, a marketing or graphic design degree would be a good start.

What was key in Kelly’s route to Creative Director was relevant work experience. She highlights the importance of building a great work portfolio. This is essentially your magnet in attracting companies to work for.

Job Progression

Junior Designer

Visual Designer / UX Designer / Graphic Designer

Senior Designer

Art Director

Creative Director

Advice From Our Experts

Top Tip

“[design] is a very specialised skill that relies a lot on your eye ... , so study what makes a design good and understand it so you can create it. Also, you have to keep on top of your skills constantly as the digital landscape is ever-changing.”

- Kelly, Creative Lead, on the importance of design.

The Good

  • Creativity - The creative part of a project is what it's all about
  • Project Completion - Very satisfying to see the final results of all the hard work
  • Mentoring - Teaching individuals is really rewarding

The Bad

  • Pixel Pushing - Too much mundane graphic work
  • Uninspiring Projects - At times, you'll have to work on some uninspiring projects
  • Conflicts of Interest - Can be frustrating when you and your clients are not on the same wavelength