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Art Direction Program
YOU’LL LOVE BEING AN ART DIRECTOR
Walk in any direction and you will bump into a creative soul. A social media genius. In another direction a food photographer walking with an ad agency art director. Around the corner a model posing for a fashion illustrator. Across the street a Russian duo painting a 30 foot nose and nose rings on brick wall. A few feet to the right and two young women are loudly discussing a new app idea. A youngish man is listening but pretending not to. Three writers at a small table taking a selfie with a chef. A huge brown Doberman under the table hoping for scraps. At least twenty people in view on their smart phone. A mechanical monkey dancing to the musical noise of the organ grinder. You are late for your portfolio review.
The school is just a smaller version of the city. Art directors and copywriters huddled or hustling all over. A copywriting class in one corner critiquing Instagram posts. The teacher howling at them. In the photo studio a female student dressed as Elvis with wings attached, gyrating and singing a bad impression of “Are You Lonesome Tonight”. One teacher in the corner with a student who has an idea for an app and the instructor tells the student, sadly there is already such an app. First quarter students headed out the door going somewhere loudly. The group spreads open to let a very tall man stepping high in slow motion while paying “Beautiful Dreamer” on his flute. A dwarf in a clown suit behind him hits a drum with his drumstick in no particular beat.
Starting Salaries for Art Direction Graduates
$70,000 and over: 11% of recent graduates
$60,000 – $70,000: 10% of recent graduates
$50,000 – $60,000: 50% of recent graduates
$40,000 – $50,000: 21% of recent graduates
$30,000 – $40,000: 8% of recent graduates
Results of our last survey of U.S. grads for the reporting period July 30, 2015 – June 1, 2016.
Application Deadlines and Program Schedule
The art direction program starts four times a year: January, April, July and October. The program lasts for 8 quarters. Each quarter lasts 10 weeks with a break between each quarter. In the second year students can study and intern in other cities. To graduate students must complete 1900 clock hours/77 credit hours and have at least a 2.5 GPA.
The application deadline is six weeks prior to the start of classes. Please see our FAQs for application deadlines and the school calendar.
Each quarter of the first year, students have four classes that meet once a week for three hours with four additional hours for lab. Class times are:
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Classes are held Monday through Saturday with a weekly guest speaker on Monday at 5 p.m. that the whole school attends. Periodically, students will have weekend classes in the late morning. Schedules are set by the registrar and have limited ability to be modified.
Intern & Study Abroad
After spending at least one year (4 quarters) in San Francisco, students can apply to our Quarter Away Program. This program gives students the opportunity to study and intern in up to four more cities around the world. You can even opt to take classes inside an agency or intern in New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Atlanta and other cities around the world. At last count 96% of the students had participated in our Quarter Away Program for at least one quarter. Over 80% of the students spent two or more quarters getting real-world experience.
Intern and get real-world experience before you graduate. Students can opt to spend part of their two year program studying and interning in up to four other cities where we have programs. Through partnerships the school has with agencies all over the world, students can get hands-on experience and build their network of industry contacts. Students can build a network of over 200 industry contacts. This is one of the reasons Miami Ad School’s graduate placement rate is so high.
Tuition & Materials
Tuition of $4,850 is due quarterly. It takes eight quarters which is 2 years to complete the art direction program.Total tuition cost for the program is $38,800. Financial aid is available for US Citizens.
All students must have:
Apple Macintosh MacBook Pro with external hard drive storage (2 TB) with maximum RAM Airport-equipped computer (approximately $1,299 to $3,000)
Adobe Creative Cloud membership ($19.99/month, requires annual commitment)
Printer accepting 11”x 17″ (approximately $200 to $300)
Smart Phone with video
Smart phone accessories: grip ($160); external lenses ($160), tripod for smartphone $25); 3 LED smartphone lights ($60 to $100); GoPro ($350)
Zoom H5N recorder $300
Diploma & Job Placement Assistance
This is a two year diploma program with the primary purpose of developing a professional portfolio through classes and real-world experience to gain the skills needed for an entry level position in advertising.
Graduates have the opportunity to attend portfolio reviews and interview with multiple agencies. Miami Ad School also supplies graduates with job leads throughout their career. Our institutional graduate placement rate is well over 90%.
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Art Direction Courses in San Francisco
Great work starts with a great idea. It’s not about just creating a print ad, tv spot or Facebook page. Solve the communication problem first then find the appropriate media to give the idea maximum impact.
Experiments in Digital Photography
Sculpt light. Re-color the world. Magnify. Reduce. Blur. Sharpen. Capture. Release. Record a decisive moment or make one. This class explores techniques in using the digital camera as a tool in visual experimentation.
Learn different types of presentation formats and get comfortable speaking and using technology in front of a group. You’ll also get the fundamentals of InDesign and Keynote, as well as iWeb for basic web design.
The ubiquity of the video and the global stage of online hosting sites give the power of the moving image to the masses. Learn cinematic styles, how to edit audio and video, and use special effects to tell a story with motion and sound.
An introduction to the tools that’ll bring your ideas to life: the digital SLR camera and Adobe Photoshop. You’ll learn how to put this tag team to work for you, how to process RAW Images and organization with Adobe Bridge.
In the real world, it’s not a creative free-for-all. There’s a strategy brief the creatives work from. Gain insight into consumers, learn the critical role of account planning and develop brilliant ideas from a creative brief.
An introduction to the art of typography. You’ll get a solid foundation in the techniques of type design as well as the fashions, movements and figures behind the history of type faces and the times that created them.
Short & Sweet
Headlines, web banners, outdoor boards, tag lines, and Twitter posts all require precision and a certain turn of phrase. You’ll learn to be a writer of few words that carry a big message and prove print is not dead.
Adobe Illustrator is the primary application in Creative Cloud for illustrating, creating logos, designing with type, and creating layouts that range from the web to traditional media like billboards, posters and print ads.
Everything is Media
You’ll learn how to integrate media old, new, offline and online into the ideal conduit for your branded message. Explore and fuse new technologies like touchscreen and face recognition with traditional advertising.
After learning the basics in Video Storytelling, take Adobe Creative Cloud to the next level by creating short films. Explore the classic narrative structure by analyzing films, commercials and branded entertainment.
The science of organization of information and human centered design. You’ll learn how to conduct basic user research to create personas that guide development of content strategy, information architecture and wireframes.
Visual communication transcends language and cultural barriers like nothing else. Learn how to create symbols that interact powerfully with contradictory meanings and create unforgettable visuals.
The Voice of Type
Typefaces are the “voice” of the written word. Learn to cast the most effective voice in the exploration of how typography is used as a way to express emotion, concepts, thoughts and philosophies to communicate a message.
Learn to concept interactive ideas, how to pitch those ideas to a client, and how to take the idea into production. Design for the web, learn elements of a digital campaign to make sure you get into everyone’s inbox and feeds.
In this course you will develop a broad understanding of motion graphics, production concepts, design tools and the enabling techniques while acquiring a working vocabulary through a series of structured problem-solving activities.
There is a process to creating a campaign. Go step by step each week to learn just how a campaign makes it through an agency from research to pitch all while creating one that can be expressed across multiple online platforms.
Video, mobile and online games gross more revenue than all Hollywood movies combined. Learn techniques and core mechanics to tap into an audience that can not be ignored in the quest to get your message across.
Pop Culture Engineering
This course will center on all the flotsam and jetsam of pop culture: t-shirts, costume, graphic novels, matchbooks, packages, posters, pimping cars, sports paraphernalia, and all the other ephemera imaginable.
Beyond the hype, social media platforms are venues for communication with your consumer. Learn how brands can achieve authentic relationships and leverage the power of these connections for the benefit of all participants.
The Brand Called You
Dive into your quirks, past and future until you find what makes “You”, you. Discover every bad trait you inherited from your parents, likes and dislikes, what you save and throw away, your beliefs and secrets. It is fun, scary and enlightening.
As the media landscape has morphed, so has the role of the ad agency. Today’s leading shops not only promote products, they come up with product ideas and then develop them. This is a primer on the process.
Head to Head
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, so if you want to be the Top Dog, you’ll enter your work in all the student competitions: Cannes, CLIO, D&AD, One Show, Addys, and win a nice shiny statue to help get you noticed.
Classes and internships have lead you to a final body of work that represents your skills, execution and personality. Finalize your website, physical portfolios and prepare to keep your portfolio up-to-date for the rest of your career.
Get a Job
You’ve got the book, discovered your creative self and cultivated an online presence. Time to polish your interviewing skills, develop a career vision and meet with recruiters to find out what they look for in a candidate.
Quarter Away Portfolio Prep
The object for this class is for students to work on their own portfolio and support materials in order to prepare them for submission to agencies for an 8th quarter internship for Agency Lab. They will aspire to make their portfolio deliverables professional.
The object of this course is to prepare students in their first quarter to use various tools that stress hand/eye skills in both concepting and execution of concepts without an over dependence on the computer. This will be achieved with assignments that require the students execute concepts in a variety of media and technique; lino/wood cuts; illustration; photography; cartoon; clay/3D models; typography; old engravings, street art; or any other technique not reliant on the computer.