Skip to main content

How to Explain Graphic Design to Your Family

 Hi, Mom. Hey, Dad. You may both want to have a seat. Anywhere is fine. I’m going to take this opportunity to put your minds to rest about what it is I do, exactly. I know that when I was younger, all those drawings and doodles I did were  easily classified as “art stuff.” After I graduated high school and moved out and stopped using colored pencils on everything, “art stuff” became a little less tangible. But since it was college, and I was in Visual Arts, that kind of took care of the whole labeling thing. Then I started a career in Advertisting as a Graphic Designer, which usually threw anyone NOT in the industry for a loop. Tell someone you’re an Art Director and they nod, pause and ask, “So you draw stuff?” Sometimes, Uncle Lou. Sometimes. So I’m here to help explain the different roles in an ad agency. Because while graphic design plays a large part, there is a lot more going on in the office. This should be fun, right? I’ll try and keep it pretty basic. Ok, here goes.

Creative Director

The head of the art stuff. The Creative Director oversees all parts of the creative process for projects, from the idea to the execution.

Art Director

Oversees important art stuff elements. Will be on photo shoots, picks out art styles, helps think of messaging and comes up with designs. Deciding which visuals work best with which messages. Maybe photos fit better with a certain project than illustrations, or vice versa.

Graphic Designers

They create all the art stuff you see on TV, in newspapers, on billboards, on book covers, etc. Anything art-related not on a canvas was done by a graphic designer.

Production Manager

Keeps track of all the art stuff and the scripts and the jobs flying around the office. Makes sure the artists aren’t drowning in deadlines.


Writes those funny lines you hear on TV commercials and the clever headlines you read in magazines.

Account Executive

The person that shows and explains our art stuff to the clients. They get to go outside.

Social Media Director

Works with “The Facebook,” “Tweet-er”  and “The Google.” Also knows how to get on the Internet. They can tell you that there is more out there than just your Hotmail account.

PR Director

Makes sure you hear about our clients in the news. Does that help a little? A client comes to us looking for a new look or help with their advertising. Maybe they want to get word out about their new venture. Our agency puts our creative heads together to find the best solutions and then produce them. The solution may be in the form of logos, ad campaigns, television commercials, outdoor signage or a hundred different other things. Or a combination! And yes, sometimes I DO get to draw things.

Enhanced by Zemanta