Executive Creative Director Vs Creative Director

Executive creative directors and creative directors work to design and develop creative work for clients. Learn more about their similarities, as well as their differences.

Comparing Executive Creative Directors to Creative Directors

Executive creative directors and creative directors sound very similar, though they have different roles in the creative process commonly used in marketing. Executive creative directors work closely with clients to create an original idea, while creative directors work towards the development of the idea. Here you can learn more about these creative career options.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)** Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Executive Creative Director Bachelor's Degree $172,815 9% (Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)
Creative Director Bachelor's Degree $86,063 2% (Art Directors)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Responsibilities of Executive Creative Directors vs Creative Directors

Executive creative directors and creative directors both work for clients to produce creative products. Executive creative directors normally work with clients directly on marketing and communication. They focus on creating marketing ideas for those organizations. Creative directors usually spend more time with their creative teams developing the products for the clients. These creative directors often work in marketing, though they also can be found in other industries, such as music and media.

Executive Creative Director

Executive creative directors need a background in graphic design to assist with creating innovative ideas. They are responsible for keeping up with the products that the company is producing to ensure they are marketing them efficiently with graphics that will fit. These professionals need experience with marketing to ensure the creative project will be marketed successfully. Executive creative directors typically have years of experience in the field, as this is an advanced position. They must have good communication skills for effectively speaking with clients to learn their requirements for the products and with the designers to explain their visions.

Job responsibilities of an executive creative director include:

  • Leading a creative team
  • Setting goals for their team
  • Tracking the team's progress
  • Managing conflicts among staff
  • Taking care of budgets
  • Developing strong relationships with a variety of clients

Creative Director

Creative directors are responsible for the day-to-day management of a team of designers and artists in creating a quality project involving graphic design, music, media, or advertising. The projects will vary depending on the type of industry. Creative directors might work 'in-house' for one specific company, or work for an agency, where they will assist multiple clients. They take ideas and see the projects through the development and design phases. A creative director needs exceptional communication skills to provide their team with assistance and encouragement.

Job responsibilities of a creative director include:

  • Planning creative projects
  • Deciding on campaign styles
  • Choosing designs for use
  • Providing constructive criticism
  • Coordinating the work among pertinent departments
  • Supporting product brands

Related Careers

Executive creative directors might be interested in a career as a graphic designer where they can work more directly with the creative process rather than deciding what clients are looking for in a design. Creative directors might be interested in becoming multimedia artists, where they still work with a team of designers, but focus on visual effects for television, movies, and other media.

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