Three good reasons why you don't need it
Of course you don’t need art direction. The next time a marketing agency proposes an art direction item for a project in its costs – just cross off that unnecessary cost, as before. Here are a few reasons that will justify the move.
the first good reason: WE HAVE TOO MANY DIRECTORS
We have a brand manager here, an account manager and a CEO, what does this artist-director want now?
An art director in advertising is neither an artist nor a director. They are not an artist in the sense that they work on very practical and assigned commercial tasks, and they are not a director in the sense that they not the superior of a team of creatives. The director in the name of this function means the determination of the artistic direction (as in giving direction). If we had to translate it, the art director would be the art editor.
It is useful to include them in the work on the project as early as possible, because with one set art direction, unity is achieved on all channels of communication, saving time and preserving the message you want to convey in your campaign. Technically, it’s not something you need, but technically, it would be stupid not to invest in art direction at the very beginning. The art direction determines simple things, such as colors and images that convey the desired mood and messages.
the second good reason: YOU NEED A SOLUTION, NOT A BRAND
You live in the moment. How very zen of you. However, you will not find the term “brand” in the present moment, whatever attitude you have towards the concept of time. The brand represents a continuous effort to convey the same message, without wandering. In a way, it is a promise to the consumer that they will always get what they expect. On your project, the art direction is here to keep that promise of the past, and continue the tradition into the future.
Without art direction, the continuity of your company’s or brand’s message is questionable. This is especially important for products and companies that have been on the market for years and even decades. You probably notice that the logos of very successful firms remain the same even when they become visually obsolete. It is a great challenge to adapt this old, well-known formula to new generations without straying from the basic message. And yet – new campaigns are there every year, and each must contain that essential, recognizable part of the whole.
It’s an art director’s job on every project. They’re like a sommelier who tastes wine and draws out over their palate flavors you didn’t even know could be named. How pretentious these sommeliers sound, but they really just appreciate wine very much.
the third good reason: NOBODY EVEN KNOWS WHAT IT IS
What you don’t understand, you probably don’t need. You probably don’t need it, but with a little effort – understanding the art direction is not so difficult. Although this term occurs in theatre, film, marketing, publishing and fashion, the definition is the same:
Art direction is a process in which messages, feelings and moods are transmitted through images (and moving images).
For example, when we say the ’80s, almost everyone will remember VHS or teased hairdos. However, what does it look like when Munch wants to celebrate his anniversary?
Okay, the ’80s were a cinch. It is clear to you and to us, even to colleagues who were born after 2000, how it should be. But what is the art direction for Instagram content of the Donau Soja – an international, independent association that issues certificates for soybeans? Like this:
And if you want to know why exactly like this, minimalistically, with an egg – you can read the whole article (and it’s totally okay if you just want to see more satisfying photos).
With their work, the art director tries to express the desired message through visual media. At the technical level, they try to introduce harmony through multimedia content. There, at least now you know what art direction is. One less reason. And for those first two, this text can’t help you much.
So the next time a marketing agency suggests that you should invest in art direction, you know what to say, right?