Creative direction can be the difference between a successful brand and one that never gets noticed. Creative direction is a powerful tool, capable of helping you to connect with your audience on a much deeper level.

Many business owners don't understand its value, or see it as something necessary for their brand's success.

Creative direction combines design, strategy, technology, and art.

Understanding and utilising creative direction can empower your brand development, help to connect with your audience on a deeper level, and boost brand awareness and value.

Creative direction is best defined as an area of brand development that primarily deals with the creative concepts that surround a brand. Part creative and part strategy, creative direction turns ideas into reality in the form of advertising campaigns, logos, and marketing collateral.

Creative direction uses the following elements to create deliverables:

  • Art, referring to the visuals of the brand, including colour semiotics and any line drawings

  • Design, referring to graphic design principles applied to the initial art concept

  • Strategy, referring to how that design concept will be perceived by your audience and how your brand is perceived because of it.

So whether it’s to create a flyer, a new logo concept, interactive presentations, a new website development, a new campaign concept or just bringing an idea into the market, creative direction can be the missing core component needed to drive brand awareness across your project from conception to completion.

Why do brands need creative direction?

Every successful brand you can bring to mind has used creative direction. That’s what makes them instantly memorable, and sets them apart from their overlooked competitors.

Creative direction builds brands and connects them with their audiences by guiding, owning and nurturing concept creation and completion in a way that reinforces customer perception throughout their entire customer journey, and the brand’s own lifecycle.

Without having that winning concept supported by creative direction and its mix of both strategy and creativity, the visual presence and marketing activity of a brand will become inconsistent and subsequently, ineffective.

But it’s not just big brands who can benefit from creative direction. Big brands got to their memorable stage because they repeatedly took a strategic and thoughtful approach to their branding and creative concepts.

Brands of any size should utilise the thoughtful approach to branding that creative direction offers to begin to drive that brand awareness. Whether it’s just consistently using a colour to reinforce an idea to your audience (orange will ooze feelings of confidence and creativity, for example and you can find out more in our blog on colour semiotics), or coming up with a concise and memorable proposition, creative direction can work for any brand if it is used time and again to build creative momentum.

How to execute creative direction

Often misunderstood and overlooked, creative direction is a key factor that should be implemented in every project to guarantee its success.

Creative direction can help to keep a team unified by defining a clear purpose for the project, can supply strategic brand direction throughout concept creation, and can solidify a creative vision to turn it into an effective reality.

Creative direction is applicable to anything: whether a brand refresh, a revamped logo design, or an overhauled website, creative direction will work for you in the animation, video, imagery or even music you choose to use.

It’s the sweet spot where ideation, planning, strategy and delivery of your creative and strategic vision meet.The use of a content marketing platform simplifies the process of all your new projects and facilitate communication between teams.

However, creative direction does often need to be led by those with experience in both design and strategy.