What Makes a Good Creative Director

Our friends at The Denver Egotist recently published a two-part series (and rant) on What Makes a Good Creative Director.

Some highlights from Part 1:

The creative director is the last line of defense.
That is the last line of defense. When no one else in the creative department knows where to take a job, or how to crack a brief, the CD can do it. They have the experience, the savvy and the ability to produce the work when no one else can.

The creative director is well-versed in all crafts.
Great CDs are chameleons who understand the balance between concepts & strategy, and copy & design. Which is a nice segue into the next point.

The creative director is well-read.
But by reading a wide variety of books, periodicals and websites, the CD is furnished with a mind that can think outside of the annuals, and guide work that other agencies will follow.

And a few nuggets from Part 2:

The creative director produces work
But a good CD will still want to do some of the work, usually about 25% of it. As a creative, that scares me. The idea that I could only spend one-quarter of my time doing what I love most is a chilling thought, but perhaps when the time comes I’ll be ready to slow down on the work and see a bigger picture. But the fact remains, creative directors should still have the ability to take a brief and produce some terrific work.

The creative director knows every creative brief intimately
The brief is the lifeblood of any campaign, and it should never be allowed to be anything less than perfect. I’ve worked in agencies that gave account managers ten days to write the brief and creative teams five days to solve it. This may seem out of whack to the uneducated, but when the creative brief is tight and provides solid, focused direction, the ideas flow.

The creative director can sell or present anything, and do it well
Selling and presenting is a skill; by the time you’re elevated to the dizzy heights of CD, you should be damned good at it.

Finally, the creative director improves the work
A good CD will improve the work. Period.

Now this is by no means a complete summary of the series that Felix put together. I encourage all of you to take the time to read the entire thing (yes, both parts). If you find something that interests you, or sparks a thought, take the time to leave them a comment.