Assistant art directors work in various industries, usually under the direction of art directors. Assistant art directors work for magazine and book publishing companies, for advertising agencies and in the art departments of larger corporations and organizations. Assistant art directors also work on theater and stage productions and for movie and film companies. The specific duties that assistant art directors perform depend on the industry in which they work.
Assistant art directors often have graphic design and artistic responsibilities as well as coordination and managerial duties. They sometimes are referred to as junior art directors. Depending on the wishes of the individual art directors, assistant art directors might perform duties that are very similar to those of their bosses, or they might work in role that are more supportive.
Some of the typical tasks for an assistant art director working in magazine or book publishing might involve laying out the publication using a computer software design tool, resizing and editing photographs and preparing files for the printer. He or she would ensure consistency of design and adherence to the publication's design standards. Depending on the wishes of the art director, the assistant art director might assist in developing the design for the publication.
Assistant art directors for advertising agencies work with art directors and other team members to create advertisements for print, television, the Internet and billboards. They might be involved with client meetings, brainstorming design concepts, laying out advertisements, helping keep track of budgets and more. Assistant art directors might help art directors with ad campaigns or have responsibility for their own campaigns from concept to completion, depending on the size and structure of the agency.
In corporate and organizational creative services departments, an assistant art director might coordinate and keep track of multiple projects from beginning to end. Projects can include brochures, newsletters, web pages, posters and more. He or she also might develop designs for different pieces and have responsibility for production of those pieces, or the assistant might work with the art director to develop designs. The assistant art director also might oversee the work of artists and graphic designers within the organization.
Assistant art directors in the performing arts assist production designers and art directors for stage and film sets. They coordinate with various personnel, such as painters, shop workers, construction coordinators and others to ensure that various aspects of sets are completed. They also are responsible for acquiring materials needed for productions and researching design elements to ensure time period authenticity.