After years of trying to work your way up, becoming a creative director can be a dream come true. You get to direct creative projects without having to do all the nitty-gritty yourself or spending years studying the latest in graphic design. On the contrary, you have to deal with tough deadlines and challenges in communication while keeping your people happy despite job-related conflicts.

The job is not an easy feat, especially for anyone who has made a transition – for example, from an average marketing copywriter to an SEO specialist to becoming a creative director. However, it can be immensely fulfilling when approached from the right perspective.

If this position is something you desire to have, keep these 5 qualities that make for the best creative directors in mind.


While experience is not the most relevant indicator on how good a creative director is, it is probably the most common trait among creative directors.

Experience is the main source of key ingredients. This what makes people highly proficient in their line of work. For instance, when a creative director has worked in the same industry for a decade or so, his or her skills become more fine-tuned. They know what makes a website attractive and lead-generating, what helps an ad pull or what makes a content get noticed. They develop a second level of intuition too, enabling them to quickly discern what will work from not.


The best creative directors know how to deal with egos, handle irate clients, tackle project misfortunes and other challenges. They can listen to an annoying customer while understanding the frustration of their designers at the same time. They can bounce back from the trials and move forward with an ease.


This is pretty obvious. A good creative director does not only delegate assignments to his or her team and oversee creative outputs from others, but can also produce exceptional output from scratch. They have a passion for design and can take on any task solo, without needing their team to back them up all the time.

Managing Ability

Creative directors are usually promoted to the position without any formal management training, so this can be a strenuous task for them. They must be as effective as the other managers in the company, which means giving their employees the opportunities to maximise their full potential.

Here’s how good creative directors manage their people:

  • They delegate responsibility accordingly, putting in just the right amount of pressure to have things done.
  • They provide timely and well-thought reviews, praising people when they deserve and criticising them properly when necessary.
  • They understand where they stand and what their position entails. They do not do power tripping.
  • They let their team slack off if needed; giving them the chance to take vacations and weekends off.
  • They make plans with the team, thinking and generating ideas that will work for each individual in the team.