Written by Sonya Harrison
Director of Design

A Day in the Life of an Art Director for a Branding Company

Hey, hey! Sonya here; nice to meet you. As the Art Director for a branding company like Nice Branding Agency, I spend my days working on big branding jobs and directing design on all other projects. My days are filled with strategy sessions, internal approvals and meetings with the design team, and design sessions where I work on logos, brand boards, and more.

6:00 – 7:45am: My alarm is set for 6am I hit snooze a couple times, stare at the ceiling, and contemplate life while reflecting on what the day may bring. Around 6:30, I finally roll out of bed, make brekky which is usually a smoothie, read my daily devotion, maybe some emails, all while sipping on my breakfast. Then I throw some dry shampoo in this hair, some color on this face, take my Golden pup out for a quick walk, and then head out the door.

I make sure to leave myself some time to swing by Starbucks to scoop up my mobile order. Cold Brew is life, guys. I usually text Sam to see if she wants anything, and it’s 50/50 whether I get to pick up a coffee for her, too — Can’t be leaving my Sammie out.

8am: I’m in the office typically by 8am. I skim emails and review proofs that were sent in the previous afternoon. Since we are an hour ahead of our Nice Branding Nashville office, there are usually a few straggling proofs that come in just after I’ve left for the day. I review those and provide my design team with a bit of feedback before digging into my to-dos for the day.

Our branding company uses a project management system, so I log in to it and check out my schedule for the day. We have a project manager who handles all incoming jobs, project schedules, and revisions from clients, and my days are scheduled accordingly. Within the 8 o’clock hour, I’m typically able to knock out a quick design project or finish up something I had to let simmer in my mind overnight.

9am: During the morning hours, I like to knock out a larger, more strategy-heavy design project since my mind is fresh. I’ll typically tackle a logo design here. I start by reviewing the creative brief, discussing the client with my team, and then researching competitors and industry trends. I’ll get fonts onto an artboard and go to work creating a unique brand mark.

10am: Still working on those logos, guys. Rome wasn’t built in an hour, and you better believe these logos aren’t going to be either.

11am: After a couple hours of branding work, I’ll take a quick break and review proofs that have come in from the design team. It’s important to me that all proofs are thoroughly reviewed and that I take the time to provide true, constructive criticism to my designers. The goal is to help them elevate their skill level and to see things in a way that they might not have otherwise.

Our brandy company has a culture of being problem solvers, so when the client hasn’t provided all of the info necessary, or the information that has been provided doesn’t really reach the viewer through the design, we have to go back to the drawing board. Or at least make some tweaks. We aren’t here to just make pretty things, people! What we create serves a purpose, and that is something we strive to push to the forefront with each project.

12pm: Hard stop here. Lunchtime is an important part of the day around here at the Nice Branding Agency Lakeland office. We use this time to reenergize, stand up from our computers, and breathe some fresh air. We typically go home or out for lunch, and I squeeze in a quick doggie walk since I live near our little branding company.

1pm: We come back to the office with clear heads, and often, another cup of coffee. Decaf in the PM though. The afternoons are full of revisions from our creative director and strategy sessions with the team.

This week, we are working on a holiday project for one of our large, national clients. It’s due early next week, so we are putting the finishing touches on the design elements and preparing the project for presentation. This is an opportunity for us to really show off our skills to a client with national exposure. We are hoping to be able to refresh additional elements of their brand, and this holiday project could be the gateway.

3pm: Our team is growing, and we are hiring another senior-level designer for our branding company. Today, I take some time to review the portfolio of one of our top candidates. She has also taken a design test in our office, so I also take a look at those files. She had some great ideas for the projects we assigned during the test, so that’s promising. There were some kerning issues though, but that can be taught.

4pm: We received our UPS delivery, so I open all of the boxes to check the goodies that came in for our clients. We did a die-cut business card with custom PMS color edges, so I’m anxious to see if our vision translated to print well. It did. The cards are killer, and we are excited to deliver them to the client! I also open some promo products and catch a print error, so I’ve got to coordinate with the vendor for a reprint. Nothing other than perfection ever gets into the hands of our clients.

5pm: I start wrapping up for the day. I check my list in our project management system and adjust the statuses of my projects for our project manager, and then take one more spin through my emails to see if there are any last-minute proofs to review before I sign off. After sitting at the computer all day, I’m usually ready to get moving, so I meet up with a friend at the gym to burn off that extra energy and catch up with her on the treadmills.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my little life here at our branding company. If you are interested in learning more about what we do here, or want to come aboard as a client or team member, just give us a shout!


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