Kansas City, Missouri

Associate Art Director

Here’s an opportunity for the right person to make a difference for a big client. You gotta have a love of color, typography and design, know how to work with photography and maybe have a flair for simple, iconic illustration. This all needs to be matched with an understanding of retail needs. Getting a message across in a clear and eye-catching way hits the center of our needs bullseye. Should be able to present and explain your work to clients. Some experience working on a large retail account would be awesome, too. You’d be working as a key part of a large team that’s accustomed to a fast and frenzied pace.

For an associate art director, here’s the starting line:

  • You have around three years of experience of some sort.
  • You have a close relationship with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat that is just this side of obsessive.
  • You have some experience with electronic file preparation for advertising/printing.
  • You have at least a passing acquaintance with PowerPoint, Word and Keynote.
  • You have some experience with digital media beyond checking your own Facebook page.

Any associate art director should feel the following rings true:

  • You pay attention to the details.
  • On more than one occasion, people who are not your parents have made complimentary remarks about how smart you are.
  • You’re collaborative and generally well-liked.
  • You are not afraid to raise your hand to ask a question or throw out a suggestion.
  • Ideas. You got ’em.
  • Great design sends shivers of joy up your spine.
  • You want to learn and grow at a place where creative is celebrated.
  • You can talk about your work and explain your choices with phrases other than “because I liked it.”
  • You can internalize and interpret direction.
  • You can do the above without rolling your eyes (mostly).
  • You hate sheep.
  • You don’t find the notion of a generally fast pace to be disagreeable or concerning.
  • You laugh in the face of pressure.
  • You have genuine interest in social and cultural trends beyond yourself.
  • You really do have an interest in advertising and design and their histories.

What does an associate art director do? What don’t they do? Associate art directors contribute to what any piece of creative work produced by SHS looks like — either with the guidance and direction of an art director or senior art director, or on their own. Could be an ad. A website. A menu. A brochure. An outdoor board. A package. An online banner ad. Innumerable things.

Most work begins with a brief or other information provided by brand management. The associate art director — often working in tandem with a copywriter — helps imagine and produce the answer to any client’s challenge. Whether it’s a campaign or a single item, the point should be to create something that has an instant positive impact on the consumer that promotes the client’s product or brand. The associate art director is involved with creating and orchestrating the content of any solution and is, if not the main guardian, a key team member entrusted with the look and design of the final piece.

An associate art director shouldn’t be surprised to be asked to:

  • Assemble a client presentation.
  • Present ideas internally and, at times, to clients.
  • Be involved with contacting and directing photographers, illustrators or other specialists.
  • Talk to students or other groups about working at an agency.

HR stuff:

  • Salary commensurate with experience; 401k plan with employer matching.
  • Great health insurance plans, wellness incentives and many other perks.
  • SHS is an equal opportunity employer, of course.

— 06.16.17 —

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