My new job title. SD, AD or CD?

I’m hoping someone can help me out here. I don’t want to just get stuck on job titles here so a little background info.

I’m a graphic designer with around 20 years of experience. I’ve always either been a senior designer or a mid-level designer in in-house positions at various companies over the years. I guess the reason why I never advanced to an art director is because I’ve never had the opportunity or I never had the desire to at that company. I’ve been with my current company for a little over a year and I really like it here. I can see myself staying long-term. There’s another GD here who has only six years of experience.

For the last few months, I’ve been giving my boss suggestions on how to make the department better as far as procedures and branding and telling him I would like more responsibilities. He trusts me. He approached me during our one on one this morning about making my position into something else. Whether that’s a senior designer, art director or creative director, I don’t know. He wants me to write up a report with new responsibilities and job title. HIS title is technically “Creative Director” so I don’t think that’s the answer. He knows nothing about graphic design, but he knows when he sees good design (his background is in writing). I know a big thing he wants me to do is to “police” the brand more and approve designs that the other designer does. The company needs this badly and like I said, he’s not a designer and doesn’t have the time.

Has anyone here ever had to write a report for this? How does an art director differ from a creative director? I have the experience, just don’t know how I should word it.

Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve been in this business a long time, and have had almost every title imaginable, from Design Intern to Marketing and Communication Director. I even had the bureaucratic title of Biologist III at one job since it was the only way the government agency could squeeze me into the salary range I asked for. Around half the titles were made up and could have been just about anything.

My point is that a title is only relevant in two ways: (1) if it somehow confers a specified job responsibility or salary range within the organization and (2) if it looks good on your resume for the next job you apply for. Have you considered Design Director?

Yea, I’m not too hung up on job titles. I’m more interested in the extra responsibilities, (I guess the extra money would be nice too) but it sounds as if I would have to have a different title. I just don’t know what to call it.

Brand Manager

Sounds like a Senior Designer to me.

That’s what I think. I’m not real comfortable with the AD thing. Not really sure if something like that would “fit in” within the dept. Is there a big difference between a Sr. Designer and a mid-level designer? I’ve always had the idea they’re about the same, except the senior just has more experience.

One is a Creative Director when the person is doing more than graphic design (most often referred to as an Art Director or Senior Art Director.) I spent most of my career in the advertising agency business, so not only was I doing graphic design myself, I was also passing thumbnails along to other graphic designers to finish. Plus, I was creating ad concepts from start to finish, working with writers, audio engineers, camera operators, lighting staff, selecting actors, audio/visual talent, and more while I was producing radio and television ads. So for me, the title of Creative Director was a matter of me wearing multiple hats in my position.

Designist and Chief of Brand Enforcement


Are you kidding? That’s a new one!