To be an excellent art director requires the knowledge and passion for good design as well as the ability to delegate that innate creativity onto others who also develop artwork or layouts. Projects for art directors run the gamut of design media from print to online media as well as full-blown advertisement campaigns. As Art Director for Uptown Studios in Sacramento, Cris Weber definitely has the experience and expertise in “overseeing the creative process of projects and maintaining brand consistency” for Uptown Studios clients.

What does your job entail?

“As Art Director, I oversee and unify the vision for our client’s brand. I am responsible for determining the overall visual appearance and how it communicates, stimulates moods, contrasts features and psychologically appeals to a target audience. As Art Director, I make decisions about visual elements used, what artistic style to use and when to use different mediums to best solve a communication problem. In addition, I also:

  • Determine how best to represent a concept visually
  • Determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use
  • Oversees the overall look or style of a website, a publication, an advertising campaign, or a brand creation
  • Supervise design staff
  • Review and approve designs, artwork, photography, and graphics developed by staff members
  • Talk to clients to develop an artistic approach and style.”

What parts of your job do you enjoy?

“I love using human-centered design as a medium to solve communication problems. I love creating things that make our clients more successful in their jobs.”

What is your educational background?

“I graduated from high-school in 1984 and attended Fresno City College where I obtained an associate degree in theatrical lighting and stage design. I then moved to Sacramento and got a job in the art department of a sign company. There, I realized my passion for visual communication. In 1991, I quit the job and entered California State University, Sacramento. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in graphic design and then took a position as part-time faculty teaching at CSUS for the next 5 years while also acting as co-principal of a design studio here in Sacramento.”

Do you think your education has helped in your line of work?

“Absolutely! My degree in graphic design is why I am a successful Art Director today. I believe very strongly that an educational foundation in visual communication and art is 100% necessary for successful creatives.”

Any advice for someone wanting to pursue a similar career?

“Attend college and get a well-rounded education. Always strive to learn something new. Study human-centered design principles. Stay curious about everything.”

Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.