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Art direction 1

  • Class 15
  • Practice 15
  • Independent work 60
Total 90

Course title

Art direction 1

Lecture type


Course code






Lecturers and associates

Course overview

The objectives of this module is to enable students to:
• Learn the theoretical and practice skills needed to work in market communications from strategic thinking to integrated communication
• Learn advertising disciplines on conceptual thinking

Building upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous modules of the programme, Visual Design, Typography, and History of Visual Design, students will learn how to define and distinguish the concepts of art direction and the function of art director, its specific role within the structure of the team of creative experts, as well as the meaning in the broader context of market communications. Students will be introduced to the discipline of art direction and enable them to understand the management of design processes at the conceptual level using basic elements of art direction.

The module is primarily work-project-based; through practical exercises, it simulates various aspects of typical market projects, while theoretical lectures and analysis of examples introduce the methodologies of solving them.

The emphasis in learning advertising disciplines is on conceptual thinking; through exercises, students will be encouraged to come up with as many approaches and ideas as possible to given problems that will cover a range of typical real-life situations from practice. Students will gain confidence in principles of perception, interpretation, and transmission of the message, as well as in basic stages and methods of the creative thinking process from strategy to visualization. The module includes content related to recent and relevant events in the art direction scene.


Required reading:
1. Mahon, N. (2017) Basics Advertising 02 - Art Direction, London, Bloomsbury Visual Arts

Recommended reading:
1. Arens, W.F. (2020) Contemporary Advertising. 16th edn, New York, McGraw-Hill Education
2. Heller, S. and Vienne, V. (2009) Art Direction Explained at Last!, London, Laurence King Publishers

Further reading:
1. Berger, W. (2004) Advertising Today, New York, Phaidon Press
2. Heller, S. and Vienne, V. (2005) The Education of an Art Director, New York, Allworth Press
3. Pincas, S. and Loiseau, M. (2008) A History of Advertising, Cologne, Taschen

Download student guide

Minimal learning outcomes

  • Recognize and apply the basic principles of perception on art direction.
  • Apply the visual approaches of key works that have influenced the modern art direction.
  • Explain the role of art direction in conveying the communication message.
  • Identify and apply basic strategies in visualizing an ad idea.
  • Explain the advantages of basic approaches in the development of visual solutions.

Preferred learning outcomes

  • Assess and implement the rules and the impact of visual interpretation on art direction.
  • Master the visual language and methods of key authors and works that have shaped the modern art direction.
  • Analyse the strategic function of art direction and the role of art director within the broader context of marketing communication.
  • Plan and develop visualization of ideas regarding the symbolic, informative and emotional level of the message.
  • Analyse the potential of alternative approaches within the development of visual solutions in order to effectively involve the target group.
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