Defining Creative Jobs in Advertising
‘Creative’ is the key word here, and is what attracts many to jobs in advertising. Here is a career path where you can earn good money (potentially) and keep a steady job whilst still using your creative brain. Bear in mind, though, that creative advertisers are not visual artists/ writers in the liberal sense of the terms. The work that a graphic designer or copywriter produces needs to have commercial appeal, as well as follow a brief set by an employer. Knowledge and understanding of the market are consequently just as important as creative ability. The ultimate aim of your work will be the sale of goods and services. If you want to be free to make art or write at your own pace and in your own style then this may not be the career path for you.
Careers in creative advertising can be broken down into different sections, as follows.
Graphic Design: Graphic designers visually communicate a brand or brand product in a way which will make it appealing to its target market and consequently increase sales of a product/ service for the employer. Designers contribute towards a variety of different media formats including magazines, posters, internet, books and television (motion graphics design). Designers must work to a brief as outlined by their employer, and then creatively interpret this, making sure that knowledge of the target market and current trends influence their design. As this is digital work, sound knowledge of the relevant programmes, such as Quark and FreeHand is essential. Designers work with a wide range of media, and also with a wide range of people.
Copywriting: Copywriting describes the writing of all advertorial text, from slogans and product descriptions to scripts and blogs. Being able to write in a variety of styles and to a brief is extremely important, as different clients will require you to write in a way which specifically suits their brand or product. Some jobs will be much more creative than others. When writing product descriptions for a catalogue, for example, your copy will need to be researched, accurate and informative. When asked to devise a new ad campaign for a company however, the value of your work will be in its creative flair, originality and market appeal.
Creative Directing: Once you have gained plenty of lower level experience you may wish to pursue an overseeing/ managerial role. Creative directors oversee creative projects, and consequently manage graphic designers and copywriters. Directors ensure that the team are producing a high standard of creative work and facilitate an inspiring environment, making sure that briefs are clear and ideas can flourish. This role may still involve a level of creative work, but is mostly directorial.
Art Directing: You will find an art director on the creative advertising team within many magazines, publishing houses and print advertising companies. This person oversees the entire design department, and works on creating coherent visual concepts for whole ad campaigns, rather than single images.