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Provide an overview of the development of art direction



HND Art & Design – Graphic Design

Academic Year

Year 2

Unit Number & Unit Title

Unit 49 Art Direction

Assignment Author




Assignment Title

Advertising Campaign

Date issued


IV Name and Date

Ruth Brooks 30/04/20

Formative Submission Deadline

Summative Submission Deadline


















Good Academic Practice

Unit 49 Art Direction

DGHE considers an act of academic misconduct when a student attempts to benefit either for themselves or for another person by unfair or improper methods, regardless of it being intentional or unintentional. Examples include:

  • Purchasing work and presenting it as your own.
  • Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own such as:
  • Using quotes without the use of quotation marks.
  • Using images produced by another person without acknowledgement.
  • Using data or ideas without acknowledgement.
  • Copying another person’s work.
  • Getting someone to help you write parts of your submission as if it were your own.
  • Collusion is when two or more students working together without prior authorisation from the academic member of staff concerned (e.g. programme leader, lecturer etc.) to produce the same or similar piece of work and then attempting to present this entirely as their own individual submission.

It is important that you are clear about what you need to do for each assignment and how you can do it. If you are not sure about any rules regarding academic writing and referencing, guidance is available from many DGHE sources including Moodle, our Library and Study Skills Support teams and from your module leaders/personal tutor.


Purpose of this assessment

This assessment will require students to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and techniques required of an art director. Students will be tested on their ability to develop a unified visual style and produce an advertising campaign, demonstrating throughout that their creative decisions are reached through a combination of research, iterative development and critical analysis of tests.

Scenario: Unit 49 Art Direction

You have recently started a new job in a design agency, and you are keen to impress. The design agency has a lot of advertising accounts spanning several teams within the agency. You have expressed a desire to the creative director to become an art director within the agency. Due to a large number of accounts active in the agency and your recent proven ability on previous jobs, and ability to work in a team, the head creative director of the agency is giving you a chance to prove you’ve got what it takes.

You will be given a number of potential briefs to choose from. Once selected, you will act as the art director on that team and answer to the creative director (tutor). Your team will be made up of a small number of other creatives with varying skill sets and areas of expertise. The Creative Director is the main point of contact to client and will be your first point of reference to ensure things are on track.

Task 1

Task 1 – Research File

Make an interesting and informative research document to explore art direction, showing both your ability to research using different methods, and your ability to give your own opinions, and critical analysis, backed-up by solid knowledge, gained from your research. Your research MUST include both primary and secondary research.

The article should cover thoroughly the following points:

1. Provide an overview of the development of art direction

Examine art direction in general showing its development over time. You should go back and trace its routes as far as is relevant historically and show how it has developed into the contemporary examples we see today. You should blend your own opinions and thoughts with the opinions of others. What, why, how, has it developed or changed? Look broadly at art direction, but also feature art direction within advertising as part of your research.

2. What is the role of an art director?

a) Within Graphic Design/Photography

Compare and discuss different types of design project in terms of the role of an art director. For example, in a design agency how does the role of an art director differ on a branding project, compared with a new magazine launch, or an advertising campaign for a new car? (again, make sure you feature advertising as one of your comparisons).

b) In other creative industries.

Many creative industries have the title art director, but what does it mean and how does it vary in different creative industries? (e.g. Advertising, TV & Film, Fashion, Theatre, Editorial, Video Games).

3. Show the power of art direction through the work of one art director.

To illustrate your understanding and appreciation of the power of good art direction, choose and critically analyse the work of an art director and show how, through their art direction, they have informed the target audience’s awareness of: a company, brand or other issue.

You must provide evidence of independent research by applying the Harvard Referencing System with i n-text citations and a reference list.

This provides evidence for LO1 Word count: 1,500 - 2000 approx.



Submission Format

Research PDF : submitted as an A4 landscape PDF. You should format this clearly and attractively. Creating a logical and clear flow of information, paying attention to information hierarchy, and setting text and images appropriately.

Your research should be referenced using the Harvard referencing system. Please also provide a reference list using the Harvard referencing system. The recommended word limit is 1,500–2,000 words.


Task 2

Choose your brief, and then formulate an art direction strategy.

(Please refer to annex on Moodle for Brief options)

The creative director has called you for a meeting to discuss which brief you wish to work on. Having looked at the options, you should have a clear idea of which one feels right for you, and why. You should be convincing and honest about your ability and desire to tackle that brief.

Create a Strategy Proposal

Having now chosen your brief, you will need to demonstrate both your evaluative and analytical skills to understand: the client brief, target market, and to identify client needs; combined with creative thought to formulate an art direction strategy. You must define a list of assets and resources (including personnel and roles required) needed to complete the brief according to your strategy. You will present your Strategy Proposal to the Creative Director for review

You must include the following tasks:

  1. Review the chosen brief.
  2. Including thorough evaluation of client needs with specific relation to the target market.
  3. Show you understand the Unique selling point (USP), and how you intend to pay attention to it.
  4. Identify opportunities and limitations related to the target market. This should be explored both conceptually (written) and visually, considering alternate routes, look and feel, etc.
  5. Explore alternate forms of execution both broadly (Typography, illustrative, photographic), and also specific stylistic choices within these.
  6. Create a report to define the assets and resources required for your specific art direction strategy.
  7. You should also consider Timeline/schedule and Budget.

Your idea should be easily understood. It should clearly explain your art direction strategy. In support of your strategy you should show clear analysis of the brief, and the clear understanding of the target market. You can use any relevant materials, reports and visual evidence to support your strategy.

This provides evidence for LO2

Submission Format

Strategy Proposal PDF: You should submit to the creative director as a PDF document. (A3 landscape)

Remember to continue to use Harvard referencing when showing examples that belong to others.

Task 3

You should now implement your defined strategy, paying attention to all your research and discovery stages, to create client ready visuals for presentation


You should carry out the following: Unit 49 Art Direction


  1. Based on your asset and resource list, you should commission, obtain, or create the visual assets required to carry out your vision.
  2. Following creative process, you should create scamps and rough concepts to visualise your idea.
  3. Through iteration and testing you should go on to develop final assets which combine to represent a unified visual direction, in the presentation of your final concepts.
  4. You should annotate your designs, or provide other report, to justify your final visual direction and outcomes to the creative director. This justification should be clear and relate to your defined strategy, client need and target audience. It should be clear enough that the creative director can explain and present to the client.

This provides evidence for LO3

Submission Format

You should submit to the creative director as a PDF document. (A3 landscape) comprising of both:

I. Final Visuals: You should submit final client standard visuals for your concept. These should be comprehensive and include all items identified in the brief to support your concept to show your art direction strategy clearly. They should be justified clearly.

II. Workings: In support of your final ideas you should include all your workings and concepts, which should be well annotated and analysed.

Task 4

Create a report that evaluates the collaborative process of art direction. You should in addition consider your own role and performance within the team.

Your report should include:

Using your experience in this project, discuss the collaborative process in art direction and evaluate the different forms of relationships you encountered (or would have encountered in a full agency situation). How do you think professionals working under art direction collaborate successfully? What works and what doesn’t?

Examine how well you performed as art director and managed other people’s creative opinion and input.

Based on your final outcomes, assess the success of your art direction, with specific relation and reference to the collaborative process and overall result. Provide a full analysis of your own role as an art director within a collaborative team.  Consider both areas of good practice, and also areas where you feel you need to improve.

This provides evidence for LO4 Word count: 800 – 1000 approx.

Submission Format

Evaluative Report PDF: You should submit your written report to the creative director as an A4 PDF document.

The current Assignment Brief covers the following Learning Outcomes

Grading Criteria






Task No.



Explore art direction within the creative industries.


Examine the development of art direction through historic and contemporary examples.


Discuss the role of an art director within the creative industries.


Compare different types of project in terms of the role of an art director.

D1 Critically analyse the work of an art director; highlighting how their work has informed our awareness of a company, brand or issue.

Task 1

Research PDF

(1500–2000 words.


Analyse a client brief and target market to formulate an art direction strategy.


Review a client brief to identify opportunities and limitations related to the target market.


Define the assets and resources needed for an art direction strategy.


Task 2

Strategy Proposal PDF



Evaluate client needs, in relation to a target market, to develop an art direction strategy.



Create work that establishes a unified visual direction, based on the critical evaluation of client needs and target audience in an art direction strategy










Implement an art direction strategy through the creation of an advertising campaign, marketing campaign, fashion spread or editorial.

P5 Commission, obtain or create visual assets for use in an art directed project, based on a strategy.


Present an advertising campaign, marketing campaign, fashion spread or editorial, using developed assets, based on an art direction strategy.

M3 Justify the unified visual direction for a project, based on response to client needs and target market.

Task 3

Final Visual & Workings PDF








Evaluate the collaborative process of art direction and own role in that process.


Discuss the collaborative process in art direction.


Evaluate the different forms of relationship, between professionals, working under art direction.


Assess the success of art direction in relation to the collaborative process and overall outcome.


Analyse areas of good practice and areas for improvement in own role, within a collaborative team, as an art director.

Task 4

Evaluative Report PDF








Examine own role, as art director, in managing the creative input of others.











Student Achievements and Assessor Feedback

Student achievement and Assessor feedback for both formative and summative submissions will be recorded within Grademark Turnitin via Moodle and will be available for students to view as notified on Turnitin. Please use exclusively the grade classification below.

Assessment Grading Scale

Unit 49 Art Direction


Grade Classification

Numeric Value

(on  Grademark)

Grade Listed As















Unclassified/ Referred




Alleged Academic Misconduct



Student submission and declaration

The following declaration will be inserted in the Turnitin link for both formative and summative submissions:

‘I certify that by submitting the work for this assessment on Moodle (and via Turnitin) it is my own work and all research sources are fully acknowledged using the Harvard system of references. I certify that there are no personal or mitigating circumstances that have affected my work.’

By submitting such document, you acknowledge that your work is your own, and abides by the DGHE code of conduct, and Pearson regulations.

Please note that in case of academic malpractice DGHE reserves the right to decline to accept the work for assessment purposes, and/or conduct an investigation, which might result in an oral presentation, oral or written exam, or any other appropriate form of examination. Further information can be found in the academic integrity and misconduct policy, the assessment policy, and the student handbook.

Understanding what a command verb is

Your assignment will always have a series of questions or points that you will need to address. The first step in successfully addressing your assignment questions is by understanding what your lecturer wants from you, and this means understanding the command verb of the question.

What is a command verb?

This is constituted by an imperative verb that gives you a specific instruction.

What are the common command verbs your assignment has and what they mean?

The following is not a complete list however, it can help you to understand what is expected of you.

Explain = to describe a situation in detail or present relevant facts. E.g. To say it’s a chair, it’s descriptive but not explanatory, to say it’s a wooden chair, made of mango woods, that has four legs, and an arm rest, is to explain.

Assess = to evaluate the relevance of something. E.g. To say Brexit is an important event in the UK, is factual but not evaluative. To say that the impact of Brexit on the automotive industry is yet to be determined, but a likely estimate situates a loss of manufacturing plants, and consequently jobs in the UK, is evaluative.

Compare = to measure how similar or different something is. E.g. To say that surrealism is different from cubism, is to state a fact. However, to state that while both movements are considered modern art, cubism popularised by Picasso, breaks down the subject matter and reassembles it in an abstract form, while surrealism, popularised by Salvador Dali, focuses on the subconscious mind and portrays everyday objects in a unfamiliar setting.

Analyse = to examine something in detail. E.g. To say that the UK judicial system is complex is too simple however, to say that the UK judicial system is complex due to historical reasons, and that has led to separate jurisdictions with one system for England and Wales, another for Scotland, and another for Northern Ireland. In England Wales at the lower instance you have the magistrate courts and tribunals, followed by the crown court, and the county court, high court and court of appeal (detailing what are the key functions for each of these and how the interrelate with one another, and for the other judiciary systems, and finalising with the UK Supreme Court is to analyse a subject).

Don’t forget you can always refer to your lecturer for other verbs not included here or your study skills tutor.

Unit 49 Art Direction

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