The artistic director and the graphic designer, the guarantors of a successful brand identity

Artistic Directors, UX and UI Designers, Graphic Designers, Web Designers… Take a quick look at his LinkedIn News Feed to realize the multitude of descriptions from some of our professional contacts. Because of this abundance of semantics, there is confusion for those who are little or not yet familiar with the mysteries of the world of advertising and marketing. Indeed, it becomes difficult to establish a precise nomenclature between the Graphic Designersand their extensions on one side, and the art directors, the other. As if all these creative were put in one big bag. While all of these professions operate in the same universe and share an identical set of skills, each has a reality of: very unique job† First, let’s focus on their favorite playground, brand identity, to better understand the question.

The importance of a successful brand identity

Apple’s apple, the color variation on Google’s G logo, the “What else? “ from Nespresso… These are the constituent elements of an identity that immediately ensure that recognizable a brand with the general public. Identity is thus the mental representation built up by a brand, as a company wants to be seen by consumers. In this regard, it should be distinguished from:brand imagethat is how it is actually perceived by this audience.

l’brand identity is an extremely strategic element because it helps to guide important decisions in marketing and communication and ensures the long-term success of a company. For example, a strong brand will be better able to retain its customers by developing feelings of trust and attachment. Moreover, it will also be better able to seek new ones if it can develop its identity through differentiating values.

A brand identity is expressed through various tangible elements such as the name, the logo, the typography, the color palette, the visual language of the different communication media or the sound identity… Each of these elements has a specific purpose. However, they maintain an interdependence through a common purpose. Build a strong, connecting and coherent identity. To achieve this, a brand must attach importance to the artistic design and at the graphic creation† Two different but very complementary steps.

Photo credit: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

The artistic conception, the forecourt of the DA

Before a brand can reject its identity across different channels (communication media, advertising, packaging, display, social media, etc.), it must create a brand identity, graphic charter, which will then allow him to develop his universe, the style charter. To achieve this, an Art Director (AD) usually works with one or more copywriters, the well-known copywriters. This duo, guaranteeing creation, invents concepts through their interactions, converts them into ideas and anticipates the technical limitations of their performance. Their work has an almost emotional dimensione because it tries to translate mental representations through a galaxy of words and images to create a brand area likely to be remembered by consumers.

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Photo credit: Unsplash/Progress

In the vast majority of cases this is “team made” works with a budget manager, who works in an agency, whose role is to establish initial dialogues with the advertiser to collect and capture their expectations and define communication objectives. From there, the Budget Holder can “creative briefing” which will serve as the starting point for the couple’s work, all overseen by the Creative Director. The Artistic Director, together with his friend, designs the CR campaigns that the Budget Manager and the Creative Director will present to the Advertiser to validate their implementation. A DA is able to develop large-scale creative projects, especially in mass media, but also in a multimedia version. In addition to his artistic skills, he must have: project monitoring skillsbut also from human management, especially when it uses photographers/directors or even outside illustrators. A complex and multifaceted profession, creative direction is comparable to the profession of an architect. He thinks and plans for a house according to a budget and according to the wishes of future owners. He takes care of the choice of raw materials (the ideas) and supervises a team of professionals (the creatives) to carry out the construction.

The Designer, a nebula of specialties

One of these famous craftsmen, it is him. Once the DA’s preparatory work has been validated by the brand, point out enters the race to produce the artistic conception concretely. Thanks to different software, the Designer translates the creative intentions visually and rejects them on different carriers. He can do editing (magazine layout, catalogues, brochures…), advertising (creation of logo, visual identity, posters…), social media, website, video game, motion design or packaging. Faced with the needs of more and more brands, this profession can be divided into several specialties. A ” easy “ Graphic designer can be a specialized performer in any of the above areas. A graphic designer will be more versatile, he will conceptualize the idea of ​​​​the artistic director and propose different versions. He is rigorous and technically capable of working across a variety of media and the DA expects him to also be proactive in developing the project as needed.

For its part, theUX designer is responsible for devising and defining the best possible user experience for a website, application or software. Fanatic of details, it is he who wonders why such and such a knot must have this shape, in this place and in this color. l’UI designer, meanwhile, transcribes the UX’s instructions to provide navigation that is both aesthetically pleasing and fluid. Finally, for his part the web designer deals only with the design of websites. According to the project, it is the Creative Director who are “team”, according to the specialties of each. In this regard, the professions of designers can be integrated directly into an agency, but they are also much and more and more practiced in freelance.

Finally, remember one essential thing: none of these phases, design and production, takes precedence over the other. A well-executed artistic direction will make successful creations possible. But, and you will have understood, these professions require: specific creative and technical skills that require appropriate training. With its Bachelors in Art Direction, Visual Communication, Identity and Packaging or even 2D/3D Motion Design, the Sup de Création school offers to train you in the reality of each of these universes to best meet the new needs of brand identity companies .

To find out more about the courses offered by the Sup de Création school, go to the special school page!

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