ok, so I did a thing. I decided to change my title, from creative director to art director. why? well, I’ll tell you.
when I first mentioned this to my wife last year, she told me I shouldn’t because it would be a demotion and may affect my career. but I’ve been wrestling with it for awhile now and finally decided it would be the right thing. I inherited the CD title from my former director some 16 years ago when he turned in his resignation. he told me that upon his exit that he would tell the execs to pass the mantle on to me since I’ve been there awhile, know the organization well, and that there’s absolutely no need to hire outside but promote from within, and that I’m the right guy to give it to. I’d only been there for 4 years, but a designer for a total of 9. I was deeply grateful and the execs didn’t give it a second thought. but as time progressed and I began to learn more and more about titles and responsibilities in the creative field, I realized the description of CD did not really fit was I was doing. I was really more of a senior graphic designer taking on more responsibilities as an art director. I’ve learned that CDs do less hands-on design and more directing other designers, copywriters, and art directors. that’s never really been my thing with my current employer. in fact, to be honest, the creative structure of my current employer is not quite industry standard in regards to the creative field. there have been two periods where I’ve been the ONLY designer on campus with some work provided from off campus freelancers followed by a couple of agencies. the first period was one year. the second was a year and a half/18 months. so not much directing on my end during those periods, other than directing my own projects and managing work from outsourced creatives.
so I realized in order to be honest, I’m really more of an art director than a creative director. rather than just directing others to do the work, I’m more of a hands-on guy who can direct others while working right along side them, or even by myself.
and so, while my title is CD with my current employer, I’d rather be honest and title myself as art director, because that’s what I actually do, and it is in no way a demotion for me. 😉