6 Books To Inspire Your Career In Art Direction

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If you’re an artist with a knack for production, you may have considered a career in art direction. The concept of this creative path is often puzzling – posing the question of,

“What exactly is art direction and what does an art director do?”

In fact, art direction is fairly straightforward. Defined as, “overseeing the artistic aspects of a film, publication, or other media production.” Simply, an art director guides the artistic production of a project.

An art director has an understanding of design and visual aesthetic. But, most importantly they are able to provide a clear vision and assist talent in the creation of the client project.

Additionally, art directors have a strong sense of what it takes to create captivating work. Therefore, they use their skills with creativity, project development and people management to create content that is fresh, exciting and reflective of their client’s needs.

If you have ever considered pursuing a path in art direction, but are unsure where to start – there are several resources for you. Art direction books are insightful and informative tools that will cover the ins and outs of this creative field. So, to get you started, we have accumulated a list of 6 art direction books you can purchase right now to jumpstart your career as an art director. Let’s check out our list below:

6 Books To Ignite Your Career in Art Direction 

Inside Art Direction: Interviews and Case Studies (Creative Careers) by Steven Brower

Inside Art Direction takes a look at what it means to be an art director. It is compiled of 18 interviews with art directors working in various fields from books to magazines, music and film. This book covers how these art directors got started, what their job entails and advice for the future of art direction. If you’re looking for an in-depth, real world assessment of what it takes to be an art director, this book is for you.

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

The term art director and creative director are often mixed together. While these two career paths are distinct, understanding creative direction can only help you build your career in art direction. This book covers a multi-disciplinary, human-centered approach to digital creative direction. It shows how creative directors develop projects, build communication skills with clients and learn how to manage a creative team. If you’re interested in a dual role of art and creative direction, this book is the best resource for you.

Basics Advertising 02: Art Direction by Nik Mahon

This book serves as a beginner’s guide to art direction. It is a comprehensive tool full of insight and knowledge into the world of art directing. It examines the techniques, approaches and secrets in developing creative advertising concepts. This books also explores how you can use moving images, photography, illustration and typography to create and execute your ideas.

Art Direction Explained, At Last! by Steven Heller

This book focuses on what art direction is and what art directors do. They discover the world of art direction in the industries of magazines, newspapers, advertising, corporate identity, museums, publishing and more. The book also offers case study examples that will help you visualize and understand the entirety of an art direction project.

Art Direction and Editorial Design (Abrams Studio) by Yolanda Zappaterra

This book is a comprehensive guide to visual journalism. It focused on the design of magazines and newspapers in online and print formats. It showcases studies, examples and offers exercises for the reader. It goes over editorial design and how this is crucial in the production and sales of publications. This is a great tool for understanding how design and direction come together to create cohesive bodies of artistic work.

The Art Direction Handbook for Film & Television by Michael Rizzo

This book is specialized for art direction in relation to film and television. This can be a truly helpful resource for any creative that is looking to work in video, film and production. It covers the set up of the film art department and the daily duties associated with this position. It also gives you tips on how to do your job as well as secure new positions with the industry. A very informative resource for art direction within film.

Lastly, a career in art direction can be expansive and exciting. Art direction is present in many industries. In fact, whether you work in magazines, graphic design, video games or film, art direction is a neccessary creative tool to create and execute any project.

These books listed above each offer a unique and knowledgable perspective on what it takes to be an art director and how to excel in the art industry. So, pick up one of these books today, to start your journey as a talented art director.

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