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Your Quick Guide to the Creative Design Industry by Janine Bucknor


contentS LEGISLATION Intellectual Property Health & Safety Advertising Standards

3 5 9 13

ETHICS Professional Ethics Social Responsibility Environmental Ethics Personal Ethics

15 17 21 25 27

THE INDUSTRY Types of Agencies Structure Job Roles

29 31 33 35



Legislation is “the act or process of making laws”. A number of laws exist within the creative industry which govern areas including: • Intellectual Property • Health and Safety • Advertising Standards

…“the act or process of making laws”



As its name implies, intellectual property (IP) law is all about the legal protection of ideas and their expression. It’s an area of law that allows creators to protect their work from being used by others without their permission. The IP Laws that affect the creative industry include; Copyright, Patent, Designs, and Trade Marks.

...“the legal protection of ideas and their expression”



Copyright ©

A copyright protects the form or expression of a work, and gives its creator exclusive rights to control how and where their work can be used. The types of material that can be protected by copyright include artistic works (including paintings, photographs, diagrams, and logos), layouts or typographical arrangements, original literary, sound recordings (including CDs), and films (including videos and DVDs). It has to be the result of independent intellectual effort.

The Rights

A copyright gives exclusive rights over aspects including reproduction, adaptation, distribution, and reselling of the work. In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified on the work. Permission must be sought from the copyright owner before using copyrighted work. In situations of copyright infringement, the owner has the right to take legal action against the offender.

The Process

There is no official registration system. In the UK, copyright is automatic - the rights start as soon as the material is recorded in writing or in any other way.

• Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic

work is protected for 70 years after the death of the author.

• Sound recordings and broadcasts are

generally protected for 50 years from the year of publication.

• Published editions of works (including

manuals, leaflets, and newsletters) are protected for 25 years.

The Mark

In some countries, marking your work with the international © mark, followed by your name and the year of publication, is necessary to denote that a work is copyright. This isn’t necessary in the UK, but it may help if you need to take action against someone using the work without your permission.


A patent protects a new invention, including mechanical processes or devices. They cover how things work, how they are made, and what they are made of. To be suitable for a patent, the invention has to be; new, involve an inventive step, and capable of industrial application. Ideas that cannot be patented include; scientific or mathematical discoveries, theories or methods, literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, and methods of medical treatment.

The Rights

A patent gives the owner the right to stop others from copying, manufacturing, selling, and importing their invention without permission. If infringed, the owner has the


right to take legal action to stop others exploiting the invention, and to claim damages. A patent can also allow you to sell the invention and all the IP rights, or license the invention to someone else whilst retaining all the IP rights.

The Process

The UK Intellectual Property Office grants patents in the UK. They usually cost around £200, and take 3 to 4 years to be granted. Once granted a patent lasts for 20 years, after which the invention passes into the public domain.

The Mark

There is no specific mark and no legal requirement for a product to be marked, although marking your product could help

stop others unintentionally infringing your patent rights. However, it is an offence to mark a product as patented or the subject of a patent application if it is not, or when a patent is no longer in force.

Case Study: Dyson vs Hoover In 2001, the vacuum-cleaner designer, Dyson, took legal action against Hoover after Hoover launched its ‘Vortex’ vacuum cleaner using a process similar to Dyson’s dual cyclone vacuum cleaner. Hoover was found to have infringed Dyson’s patent and Dyson received substantial damages for the impact of the infringing Hoover machine on the sales of Dyson vacuum cleaners. Hoover received an injunction preventing it from using Dyson’s technology, even after expiry of the patent.

Design Rights

Design rights give protection over the appearance of a product or part of a product. There are two types of design protection: registered and unregistered. Registered design gives stronger protection and has to be granted by a body, whereas, unregistered design gives weaker but automatic protection. The design must be novel and unique, i.e. unlike anything that already exists publically. Design rights can also protect digital products such as desktop icons and graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

The Rights

A registered design gives total right of ownership to the appearance of a product or part of a product - including the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or material of the product or its ornamentation.




It gives the owner the right to take legal action against anyone using their design without permission, and to claim damages from them.

differentiate between goods or services of one business from those of another. They can consist of the shape of goods or their packaging.

The Process

It is probably the single most valuable marketing tool that most companies can have.

For a Registered Design Right, application must be made at the UK Intellectual Property Office. (Unregistered Design Right is like copyright, in that you are protected automatically when you create the design.) It lasts up to a maximum of 25 years.

The Mark

Like a Patent, there is no specific mark for a Registered Design.

Trade Mark

A trade mark is a sign (e.g. words, logos, devices or other distinctive features), which can be represented graphically and can

Marks that are offensive, against the law, deceptive, or contain specially protected symbols, cannot be registered as marks.

The Rights

A registered trade mark gives the right to use the trade mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered. It also gives the right to take legal action against anyone who uses the same, or a similar trade mark, on the same or similar goods or services.

The Process

To register a trade mark, application must be made at the UK Intellectual Property Office. The process usually takes up to 6 months and costs around £200. Both trade marks that are not yet in use and trade marks that are already in use can be registered. Trade marks are registered for 10 years, and are renewable every 10 years. If registered in the UK, the trade marks are not protected abroad, but can be used as a basis for an application for international registration.

The Mark

To denote a registered trademark, the ® symbol can be displayed next to it. The ™ symbol is used in the USA. It is an offence to use the ® symbol with an unregistered trade mark.


With the growth of the Internet and digital communication, it has become easier to access creative work. With this increased accessibility, there has been an increase in IP infringement, and thus more importance of protecting IP property rights.

Sourcing Media

When using photographs, sounds, and videos in their work, some designers choose to source their media from the Internet. There are some sites that offer free royalty-free media (e.g. while others sell licenses for using their media for a cost (e.g. The problem arises when designers use sites like Google Images and Youtube to source media that is protected and not intended for further/ commercial use, thus infringing upon the IP rights of the owner.


…”protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment”



Governing: The HSC Enforcing: THE HSE

Health & Safety in the Design Industry

Here in the UK, the Health and Safety Committee (HSC) is the body that governs health and safety risks. They conduct and sponsor research, promote training, provide an information and advisory service, and submit proposals for new or revised regulations and approved codes of practice.

In the graphic design industry, there are a number of health and safety laws that employers and employees must adhere to, including:

Health and Safety Executives (HSE) help the HSC enforce these regulations by carrying out inspections in workplaces. If the HSE inspector finds that any of these laws have been breached, the employer or employee may be subject to a civil case or criminal prosecution.

• The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations Act 1992 • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 • The Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations Act 1992 These acts address factors such as the workplace environment (e.g. ventilation, temperature, lighting, condition of floors and traffic routes), the condition and maintenance of equipment, and the provision of information, instruction and training to employees.


Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations Act 1992

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, is the main piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. It defines general duties of employers, employees, contractors, suppliers of goods and substances for use at work, persons in control of work premises, and those who manage and maintain them, and persons in general.

Computers are vital commodities to most graphic designers. They are used throughout the working day to create, view, and transmit artwork. Possible health implications associated with display screen equipment (DSE) usage include upper limb disorder, temporary eyestrain, and fatigue. Thus, when an employer provides a workstation, it is their responsibility to assess the risks of its usage. The Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations Act 1992 covers the importance of taking breaks (or changing activities) during usage, making eye tests available to employees prior to and during their employment, the state of the equipment, workspace environment, and user interface.



Advertising standards refers to the laws and rules defining the ways in which products or services can be advertised, including content, placement, and timing.

…”laws and rules defining the ways in which products or services can be advertised”



Governing: The CAP

Enforcing: The ASA

Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is the industry body responsible for the UK’s advertising standards Codes. It is comprised of advertisers, agencies, media owners, and other industry groups. CAP’s Non-broadcast Committee writes and enforces the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the Code), while their Broadcast Committee writes and enforces the codes of practice that govern TV and radio advertising.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), established in 1961, is the independent body that regulates the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK. They ensure that standards are kept high by applying the advertising standards Code.

The Code lays down rules for advertisers to follow. In general terms they state that advertising should not mislead, offend, or cause harm. They tackle a range of subjects such as protection of privacy, availability of products, violence and anti-social behaviour, and political advertising. The Code contains specific rules that cover advertising to children and ads for alcohol, motoring, health, beauty, slimming, financial products and employment and business opportunities. For example, it is prohibited to advertise cars on the basis of how fast they can move.


ASA has the power to stop advertisements that breach the Code by investigating complaints made about ads, sales promotions, or direct marketing, and also by moni¬toring ads themselves to spot problems. The ASA also carry out research in a variety of areas, including people’s attitudes towards advertising and compliance with the advertising standards codes within specific sectors and media.



Ethics is concerned with the moral principles governing an individual’s conduct. Being ethical is endeavouring to be good and right, while avoiding being bad and wrong.

…”the moral principles governing an individual’s conduct”


Professional ethics in are concerned with the principles that inform an individual’s conduct in their profession. In the creative industry, this includes factors such as a professional’s behaviour in the workplace, their decision-making processes, their attitude towards clients, and the content of their work.

…”the principles that inform an individual’s conduct in their profession”



Good: An Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design (by Lucienne Roberts) breaks down ethical issues into a number of areas to consider, including:

• Reciprocity “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Politeness, courtesy, honesty, and generally positive behaviour can contribute positively towards colleague and client relationships.

• Plagiarism Being inspired by a piece of work is different to completely copying it. Respecting the craft, ingenuity, and intellectual property of other designers is seen as being ethical.

• Social Responsibility vs Freedom Designers have to balance the potential societal effects of the message they are communicating (be they positive or negative), with the needs of the client and the client’s right to freedom of speech. This can highlight conflicting principles, and the designer must make an ethical decision. Professional codes of ethics (or conduct) are usually documented, written rules, but sometimes are just given norms in a place of employment. They can be specific to individual design agencies, or general to major bodies and organisations.

The CSD’s code of conduct The Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) is the professional body representing the interest of designers. It promotes high standards of design, fosters professionalism, and emphasises designers’ responsibility to society, the client, and each other. Its thorough Code of Conduct includes a section on Professional Responsibilities, which highlights the importance of honesty, integrity, and responsibility (environmentally and socially).


3.0 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES 3.1 Members shall conduct their business competently and act at all times with integrity and honesty. 3.2 Whilst members may publicise their services in a factual and dignified manner they shall not knowingly seek to supplant another designer already engaged on a project and if comparing their services with those of other members shall only do so in a manner which is legal, decent, honest and truthful. 3.3 Members shall treat all knowledge and information relating to their clients’ or employer’s business as confidential and shall not divulge such information to any third parties without the consent of the relevant client or employer.

3.4 Members shall not knowingly work simultaneously, for clients or employers who are in direct competition with each other without their full knowledge. 3.5 Members shall not knowingly copy the work of another designer. 3.6 Members shall act fairly and impartially between contracting parties or when selecting others. 3.7 Members shall only enter or be a judge of competitions which comply with the design competition guidelines of the Society, or which obey rules approved by its International Relations Committee and when in any doubt shall consult the Director. 3.8 Members shall not sub-contract the principal design work commissioned by a client or employer without their full knowledge and agreement.

3.9 Where there is any intention by a member to combine acting as a consulting designer (“consulting”) with acting as a contractor including such activities as shopfitting, construction, manufacturing and printing (“contracting”), this shall be disclosed to the client and shall not be represented as one or the other alone. 3.10 Members shall have due regard to the effect of their work and endeavour that it may cause as little harm as possible either directly or indirectly to the ecology or environment, including: • living creatures • endangered species of plant or fauna • the atmosphere • rivers and seas • the land. Members should wherever possible encourage the conservation of energy and the recycling of used • products, packaging and materials




Go Freelance Go Freelance is an online portal connecting freelancers and businesses. Anyone who joins must abide by its Code of Practice, which like the CSD focuses on honesty, but additionally addresses client relationships.

• Deal honestly and fairly in all business transactions

• Complete all work to the highest professional standards

• Deliver work promptly according to agreed budgets and timescales

• Provide clients with a reasonable opportunity to review work

• Respond promptly to messages and inquiries

• Strive for excellence in all aspects of business


Society is constantly exposed to graphic design, whether through billboards, signage, or magazines. Individuals within society perceive the messages of designs in different ways, causing offence to some, but maybe not to others. Thus, designers must do the “right” thing for society and be aware of the impact (whether positive or negative) their actions have on others.

…”one’s responsibility to society and the social consequences of one’s actions”



Advertisers are notorious for pushing boundaries in order to maximise sales, but this sometimes happens at the expense of decency and taste. The CAP Code, as aforementioned, serves as guidelines for designers in the advertising industry. According to the CAP Code, adverts should not: • Cause serious or widespread offence

• Cause undue harm or distress (e.g. the use of shocking imagery)

• Contain anything that might provoke anti-

social or violent behaviour (e.g. depicting scenes that could encourage people to behave irresponsibly)

• Contain anything that is likely to result

in the physical, mental, or moral harm of children (e.g. adverts that could make children feel inferior)

Undue Harm or Distress (Shock Tactics): Barnardos Adverts (2003) Shock tactics are often used by advertisers to emphasise a point or to grab attention. Charities tend to use these tactics to stress an issue or draw attention to its cause. Since charities generally promote positivity, some people may believe that the message or cause of their adverts justify the means by which they communicate it. However, this is not always the case, as discussed in the case of Barnardos. In this series of Barnados adverts, computer-altered photographs of distressed babies with harmful objects in their mouths (a cockroach, a syringe, and a bottle of methylated spirit) were used.

Complaints were made against this series of adverts under two separate issues:

• The use of distressing imagery • Misleading claims (i.e. the adverts

implied that most babies born into poverty led a life of squalor and became drug abusers)

People were concerned that the imagery used was shocking, offensive, and distressing, especially if seen by children. Some argued that the adverts could encourage children to copy the harmful behaviour depicted. The ASA decided that the advertiser had breached the code (in terms of the shocking imagery used to grab attention), however, they did not uphold the complaints about children possibly emulating the advert. Barnardos were banned from repeating this series of adverts.


Serious or Widespread Offence: Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Ltd ‘Opium’ (2000) This billboard poster for the perfume Opium drew 948 complaints – the second highest number of complaints ever! It depicts a naked woman (with one breast covered) lying on her back. The main concern was that this “sexually suggestive” advert was placed on billboards around the country, and could be seen by children - for which the imagery is unsuitable. The ASA upheld the complaint on the grounds that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Initially, this advert shocked me – I could not see the justification in using a naked woman to promote a perfume. I could see how the image may be perceived as sexually suggestive (the pose suggests an orgasm), or even degrading (promoting a product based merely on a woman’s appearance). However, on further thought, I was able to

appreciate the beauty in the image. The way the woman is photographed is very classy as opposed to being seedy. It is important to acknowledge that this advertisement was placed in women’s magazines for nearly 6 months before it became a poster, which I feel was a more suitable place to publicise it. Placing it on billboards was an irresponsible decision, based on the fact that children could view it. It could be argued that children potentially have access to imagery like this in popular music videos which come on music television channels everyday, which makes the complaints seem irrelevant. However, it is possible for parents to regulate the television material that their children watch. Whereas parents have no power over regulating what billboard adverts their children encounter




Provoking Dangerous Behaviour (coupled with the Effects of the Internet): Nissan XTrail (2005) The rise of the internet culture is causing the ASA to reconsider what they class as offensive or unacceptable on the grounds that the internet exposes users access to any material - be it offensive or not. Whereas, television and print ads can be regulated and geared towards a particular audience (i.e. adverts shown after the 9pm watershed, adverts only published in adult magazines), the Internet has opened up a gateway for certain audiences (e.g. children) to access adverts that are not intended for them. Viral adverts, which are not regulated, can easily be viewed by children and forwarded to their peers via email. In 2005, the car company Nissan released two Internet advertising banners for their car XTrail. One of the adverts depicted

a man lying down on the floor, and then lowering an iron towards his chest (see Fig 3). It was an attempt to humorously portray the man being “extreme” by ironing his shirt whilst wearing it. The ASA received complaints that the adverts could encourage children to copy what they saw in the adverts. The ASA defended Nissan saying that the adverts were not intended to be serious and that they were aimed at the 35-55 age range. However, they upheld the complaints that they should be removed from the sites on the Internet where children who might possibly emulate the advert could see them. Personally, I would not be offended by this advert as I appreciate its humour above

anything else. I would hope that children would be sensible enough to understand that they should not copy everything they see, however, in reality I know that is not the case. Thus, I agree with the ASA’s decision to withdraw this advert from the Internet sites.


The Design, Advertising, and Packaging industries are fast becoming aware of, and taking responsibility for, the effect they have on the environment. Being “green” and sustainable have become some of the most talked about and fashionable issues in society and the global market, therefore, those agencies and production companies that have a “green” strategy in place are more likely to appeal to clients.

…”reducing use of non-renewable resources, and minimising environmental impact”






Many paper manufacturers now offer quality and affordable recycled paper or paper sourced from sustainable forests (FCScertified paper). By using these types of paper, agencies and companies have less of an impact on the levels of the earth’s natural resources. An even better alternative in reducing resource consumption is the “paperless” digital storage of information! This can be on disc or on the Internet.

Traditionally, solvents are used as bases for inks as their evaporation ensures that the ink dries quickly. However, these solvents are dangerous (inhaling and emissions). Now, biodegradable and non-toxic ink is a viable alternative, available to printers. These inks are usually water-soluble or vegetable oil-based.

Companies are being encouraged to reduce the amount of packaging they include with their products. Cosmetic packaging is seen as unethical as it produces a massive amount of unnecessary waste, which is often unrecyclable. By reducing the size and amount of packaging not only is production energy and waste decreased, but also emissions from transit is reduced – i.e. more units can be transported per lorry, meaning less lorries on the road, and thus, less emissions.

Packaging designers can look to using alternative materials to decrease their impact on the environment. For example, water brands are changing the paper labels on their bottles to plastic ones, so as not to contaminate the recycling stream.

Fuel Consumption One of the ways to reduce fuel consumption in design agencies and production companies is to switch to eco-friendly energy providers. Also, encouraging staff to walk, cycle, or take public transport to work reduces the toll on the environment.

Case Study:

smashLab have shown that a combination of small changes can make a big impact on the environment. To meet sustainability aims, Smashlabs implemented changes including: • Moving away from print-based work to more strategy and interactive projects • Using all paper on both sides – they use the reverse of used sheets for brainstorming and concept work • Giving staff passes for public transport • Turning off lights on bright days • Invoicing clients digitally


Ethics according to Janine Bucknor.

…”I desire to use my creativity for the “greater good” – to bring about a positive change”




I endeavour to be honest and hold integrity in the creation of all my work, and in my dealing with clients and colleagues.

Social Responsibility

One of my biggest dislikes of the design industry is using SEX (or “sex appeal”) as the primary focus of an advertising campaign. I feel it is a cheap sell and shows a lack of creativity. It also fosters and perpetuates an unhealthy obsession with sex, body image, and self-esteem. If faced with a client who wanted to use this strategy for a campaign, I would use my professional knowledge to best persuade them to consider other, more creative ideas. As a Christian, there are certain lifestyle choices that I do not agree with. However, I understand that in the vein of equality and tolerance, I will have to work on projects or work with clients that advocate those lifestyles.

In a Nutshell

In all, I desire to use my creativity for the “greater good” – to bring about a positive change in society.


An advertising agency is a business whose sole purpose is to create, prepare, and display advertisements for its clients. Advertising covers a wide range of media, including (but not limited to) television, magazine, radio, Internet, and mobile communications. Ad agencies can also handle overall marketing and branding strategies and sales promotions for their clients. Agencies may be hired to produce single ads or, more commonly, ongoing series of related ads, known as an advertising campaign.

‌�to create, prepare, and display advertisements�


There are many types and sizes of Advertising agencies, which include everything from one, or two-person shops (which rely mostly on freelance talent to perform most functions), small to medium sized agencies, large independents, and multi-national agencies.

…”to create, prepare, and display advertisements”



Above the Line (ATL)


These are mainstream ad agencies (e.g. Saatchi & Saatchi) that use conventional mass media, such as television, radio and the Internet, to promote their clients’ brands. ATL ad agencies generally handle big-name global brands, such as Coca Cola, are typically large agencies, and have £millions of revenue.

These agencies usually have big-name clients, and specialise in advertising brands through retail promotions, competitions, offers, freebies, etc. For example, special promotions you see around the time of major sporting events such as the Olympics.

Below the Line (BTL) BTL ad agencies use less-conventional methods of promoting their clients’ brands. They focus more on personal and direct methods of communication, such as e-mail and direct mail to target a particular consumer group. Like ATL agencies, BTL agencies deal with some big-name clients.

Local Ad Agencies These agencies deal with local, and sometimes national, clients. They produce adverts and publicity materials to target consumers within a certain locality, e.g. brochures.

Digital/Interactive Media

These agencies specialise in advertising through digital media, e.g. mobile communications, interactive television, MP3, and Internet. They are usually small companies (in terms of numbers of employees).


These agencies specialise in advertisements on the Internet (video, email). The ads are often short, humourous, and risque. These types of ads are effective because they often cause a stir, and people forward the ad to their email contacts, then those contacts forward the ad to their contacts, and so on. Viral ads have less regulation than television ads.


These agencies work in the pharmaceutical industry in the promotion of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. They are usually able to offer their clients a complete service (e.g. strategy, advertising, direct marketing, point of sale, etc).

Case Study:

Saatchi & Saatchi is a global advertising agency founded in 1970 by brothers Lord Maurice and Charles Saatchi. They have offices all over the world. Their clients have included global brands such as Procter & Gamble, Toyota, and Hewlett-Packard.


Ad agencies are typically comprised of a number of different departments, each with its own unique purpose. Within each department, there are numerous job roles. Sometimes in smaller agencies, not all these departments formally exist, but all the tasks are fulfilled with employees doing more than one job.

…”to create, prepare, and display advertisements”



Account The account team liaise between the client and the creative team. They sell the ideas generated by the creative team to their clients, and manage client expectations and budgets.

Research Within this department, there are two strains of research - strategic and evaluative. Strategic research enables the agency to understand how consumers use a product or service (consumer behaviour), consumers’ opinions on that particular product or service, and determines the target market. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, etc.

Evaluative research is undertaken after the advertising campaign to see how effective it was on consumers.

Media Buying & Planning This department decides on the most effective and efficient methods to advertise to the target market, and buys the required media space.

Creative This department consists of the people who generate the ideas for ad campaigns. “Creatives” usually work in pairs: a copywriter (dealing with the words for an ad) and an art director (dealing with the visual aspect of the ad).


This department brings the creative team’s ideas to life, using the budget they are given by the account team. They liaise with internal staff and external suppliers.


The staff in this team ensures that everything is running on schedule and that everybody is doing their assigned job.


There are numerous positions and job roles within advertising agencies, depending on the type of agency and the size. The following gives examples of some of the key roles and functions.

…”to create, prepare, and display advertisements”



Account Account Manager

An account manager has overall responsibility for a portfolio of accounts, manages the work of advertising executives, and is in charge of budgets and administration. They usually attain this role after a few years’ experience as an account executive.

Account Executive

An account executive acts as the link between agency staff and the client, and is responsible for the day-to-day running of their client’s campaign. They report to the account manager. At a senior level (i.e. 1015 years experience, an account executive can typically earn between £45k and £90k.

Media Buying and Creative Planning Creative Director Media Planner

A media planner evaluates the strategic research (e.g. market research, product knowledge, etc) and from that, determines the most appropriate places to advertise. They feed this information to the creative team so that in turn, they can generate innovative ideas to solve the client’s problem.

Media Buyer

A media buyer is responsible for purchasing media space for ad campaigns (e.g. in magazines, billboards, radio). They are also responsible for budget management and work closely with the media planner.

A creative director oversees the numerous creative teams within the department. They inspire and motivate the teams, and provide advice.

Art Director

An art director works in partnership with a copywriter. Their main role is responding to a creative brief in a visual way, and producing innovative concepts and ideas for the ad campaign. They usually have a background in art/design. Junior art directors can earn anything between £18k and £25k, whereas a senior art director can expect anything between £55k and £150k.


A copywriter works in partnership with an art director. Their main role is responding to a creative brief in a written or verbal form, and producing slogans or straplines for the ad campaign. They sometimes have a background in art/design or English. Starting salaries can be between £9k and £20k, with senior copywriters earning anything from £45k.

Graphic Designer

A graphic designer creates the graphics for the ads by selecting and arranging visual elements, such as typography, images, symbols, and colours, to convey the client’s message to its target market. Increasingly, designers are expected to pitch their ideas to clients, putting the account executive’s job in jeopardy!


Storyboard Artist/Visualiser A storyboard artist/visualiser is usually required to work on briefs involving motion graphics, e.g. television ads. Storyboards are a series of illustrations or images displayed in sequence to pre-visualise the concept.


An artworker is traditionally the person who translates the Creatives’ hand-drawn visuals into a digital representation using tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator/ Freehand, QuarkXpress and InDesign. In some companies, they also prepare final artwork for pre-press or print. Increasingly, graphic designers are expected to be able to artwork too, so the artworker’s job is in jeopardy!

Traffic Traffic Manager

The Traffic Manager is responsible for the flow of all traffic through the agency and directs, manages and develops the Traffic Coordination team. They keep records and compile reports on how efficiently the workflow moves within the agency, highlighting any areas where efficiency can be improved. The Traffic Manager reports to the agency Directors.

Traffic Coordinator

A Traffic Coordinator oversees and maintains scheduled deadlines, maintains records and updates project reports. They also traffic projects through the creative development and pro¬duction processes, and follow through with filing of completed projects and distribution of samples. A Traffic Coordinator will work closely with all the other departments within the agency to ensure all projects flow through the processes without error.




Case Study: I.E. Design IE Design is a 14 year-old, Birminghambased design agency that provides a range of solutions to their clients including web, interactive, design, and branding. They handle both local and national clients including Vax, Digital Birmingham, and St Philips Chambers. The office is split into two halves – one half focus purely on creative design while the other side focuses on digital development and programming. I was fortunate enough to spend a week at IE Design doing work experience, and between making rounds of tea and playing table tennis, I learnt about the structure of the company and its staff. Here is a short profile of some of the people who work there:


Ollie - Managing Director & Senior Art Director

Ollie is the founder of the company and has many years of experience in the design and branding industry. He is the head of the company, steering its direction, and providing expert advice to his staff.

Oliver - Digital Services Director

Oliver is responsible for running and developing the digital side of the business. His time is split between the Birmingham office and the Brighton office.

Lauren - Operations Manager

Lauren, from America, implements process management in order to improve the workflow of the company. Effectively, she acts as a Traffic Manager.

Kellé – Designer

Kellé is a middleweight designer who has been working at IE for about 4 years. She uses her art and design skills to bring creative and innovative solutions to a range of projects.

David - Web Applications Specialist David has a background in computer science and uses his skills to solve technical challenges in application and webpage development


HND Graphic Design - Unit 3: Professional Studies - Copyright Š Janine Bucknor

Quick-Guide to the Graphic Design Industry  
Quick-Guide to the Graphic Design Industry  

Quick-Guide to the Graphic Design Industry