Art Directors

Art directors are the ones who manage the artistic and design elements in a film or television production and make sure that the overall visual appearance of a project communicates to the audience the message that the film or television production desires to convey. Art directors are required not only in the fields of film making and television production, but also in advertising, publishing and animation. Art direction is an extremely creative and demanding profession; one needs to be highly imaginative and resourceful to pursue a successful career in this field. Also sometimes called a design director or creative director, they are responsible for supervising the various artists who are working on the artistic appeal of a particular scene. The art director is in-charge of ensuring that the overall visual appearance of the project strikes the right chord with the audiences in terms of the contrasting moods and psychological effects the project is supposed to elicit. Their job is very challenging as it is very difficult to translate ideas, emotions, and abstract concepts into visual imagery. In films and television, the art director works in collaboration with the production designer, set decorators and set designers. Browse this section to discover about the life and works of famous art directors from all over the world, through their biographies and timelines.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, USA

 2 Satoshi Kon

Satoshi Kon
4
Famous As: Animator, Film director, Screenwriter, Mangaka
Birthdate: October 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kushiro
Died: August 24, 2010

 3 Eric Stefani

Eric Stefani
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 17, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fullerton, California, USA
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 4 Hideaki Anno

Hideaki Anno
4
Famous As: Film director, Animator, Actor, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film actor
Birthdate: May 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ube
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 5 Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai
4
Famous As: Film director, Voice actor, Animator, Screenwriter
Birthdate: February 9, 1973
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Koumi

Best known for his animated film Your Name, which became the third-highest-grossing anime movie in history, animator and manga artist Makoto Shinkai had initially studied Japanese literature. His Weathering with You was Japan’s official submission for Best International Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. He is also dubbed The New Miyazaki.

 6 John Kricfalusi

John Kricfalusi
3
Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: September 9, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
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 7 Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 10, 2010

Frank Frazetta was an American science fiction and fantasy artist remembered for his work on comic books, LP record album covers, paperback book covers, posters, and paintings among other media. Nicknamed the Godfather of fantasy art, Frazetta is also considered one of the 20th century's best-known illustrators. He was honored at the World Fantasy Convention with a Life Achievement Award. 

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 8 Tetsuya Nomura

Tetsuya Nomura
3
Famous As: Video game artist
Birthdate: October 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kochi, Japan

Japanese video-game artist Tetsuya Nomura gained international fame for creating the characters of Final Fantasy VIII. Currently working as a designer for various Square Enix games, such as Kingdom Hearts and Parasite Eve, Nomura had begun drawing at age 3 and created his first Sugoroku board game by elementary school.

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 9 Denzel Whitaker

Denzel Whitaker
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Torrance, California, USA

 10 John Romero

John Romero
4
Famous As: Video game designer
Birthdate: October 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.

 11 Saul Bass

Saul Bass
3
Famous As: Graphic designer
Birthdate: April 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: April 5, 1996

 12 Bud Luckey

Bud Luckey
3
Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: July 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Billings, Montana, USA
Died: February 24, 2018

 13 Sergey Yosifovich Paradzhanov

Sergey Yosifovich Paradzhanov
3
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: January 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia
Died: July 20, 1990

 14 Eiko Ishioka

Eiko Ishioka
3
Famous As: Art Director
Birthdate: July 12, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: January 21, 2012

 15 Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli
3
Famous As: Graphic designer, Architect, University teacher
Birthdate: January 10, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milan
Died: May 27, 2014
Italian designer and co-founder of Vignelli Associates, Massimo Vignelli had designed everything from dinnerware to furniture. Known for experimenting with geometric shapes, he also had a long association with Unimark. His own home interiors had been designed by him. He had also designed the New York City subway map.

 16 Jorge Gutierrez

Jorge Gutierrez
3
Famous As: painter, illustrator
Birthdate: January 1, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tijuana

 17 Cedric Gibbons

Cedric Gibbons
3
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: March 23, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 26, 1960

 18 Hermann Zapf

Hermann Zapf
3
Famous As: Type designer, Graphic designer, Calligrapher, University teacher, Postage stamp designer, Painter
Birthdate: November 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nuremberg
Died: June 4, 2015
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 19 Herbert Bayer

Herbert Bayer
3
Famous As: Graphic Designer
Birthdate: April 5, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Haag am Hausruck, Austria
Died: September 30, 1985

An artistic polymath, Herbert Bayer was a graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental and interior designer, and architect, known for advocating integration of all art forms. Born in Austria and educated at Bauhaus, he migrated to the USA after a successful stint in Europe and as ARCO's Art and Design Consultant built up the company’s vast art collection.

 20 Kaneto Shindo

Kaneto Shindo
2
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: April 22, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saeki District, Hiroshima, Japan
Died: May 29, 2012

Best known for his iconic movies such as The Naked Island and Children of Hiroshima, Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo initially wanted to be a screenwriter. Part of the Japanese navy during World War II, he later often used themes of war and social realism in his films.

 21 Gustaf Gründgens

Gustaf Gründgens
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 22, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, Germany
Died: October 7, 1963

 22 Tibor Kalman

Tibor Kalman
2
Famous As: Graphic designer
Birthdate: July 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: May 2, 1999

 23 Helene Weigel

Helene Weigel
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 6, 1971

 24 Ali Hatami

Ali Hatami
2
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: August 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: December 7, 1996

 25 William Cameron Menzies

William Cameron Menzies
2
Famous As: Film Production Designer
Birthdate: July 29, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: March 5, 1957

 26 Yuriy Norshteyn

Yuriy Norshteyn
2
Famous As: Film director, Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Penza Oblast

 27 Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 23, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

 28 Sabu Cyril

Sabu Cyril
0
Famous As: Art director, Actor
Birthdate: January 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kerala

Sabu Cyril is an Indian production designer and art director best known for his work in the Indian film industry. One of the most popular and celebrated art directors in India, Cyril has received four National Film Awards for Best Production Design. He achieved international recognition for his work in the 2010 Tamil-language science fiction film Enthiran

 29 Rosario Nadal

Rosario Nadal
2
Famous As: Consultant
Birthdate: October 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Balearic Islands, Spain

 30 Gabre-Medhin Tsegaye

Gabre-Medhin Tsegaye
2
Famous As: Ethiopian Poet
Birthdate: August 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ambo, Ethiopia
Died: February 25, 2006

 31 Mitchell Leisen

Mitchell Leisen
2
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: October 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Menominee, Michigan, United States
Died: October 28, 1972

 32 Marcell Jankovics

Marcell Jankovics
2
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 21, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest

 33 Robert F. Boyle

Robert F. Boyle
2
Famous As: Art Director
Birthdate: October 10, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: August 1, 2010

 34 Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam
2
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: April 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Khorramshahr, Iran

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an Iranian dancer, choreographer, director, and actor. Shahrokh, who works in Paris, is credited with founding the Nakissa Art Company where he formerly served as the artistic director. Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is the first Iranian to be associated with the popular Comédie-Française troupe.

 35 Yōichi Kotabe

Yōichi Kotabe
2
Famous As: Animator, Mangaka
Birthdate: September 15, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Taipei

 36 Takami Akai

Takami Akai
2
Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: November 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yonago

 37 Richard Sylbert

Richard Sylbert
2
Famous As: Production designer
Birthdate: April 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 23, 2002

 38 Mark Morris

Mark Morris
1
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: August 29, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

 39 Nelly Kaplan

Nelly Kaplan
1
Famous As: Writer, Filmmaker, Film director, Screenwriter, Essayist, Cinematographer
Birthdate: April 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: November 12, 2020

 40 Kōji Yamamura

Kōji Yamamura
1
Famous As: Film director, Animator
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nagoya

 41 Tom Wilkes

Tom Wilkes
1
Famous As: Art Director
Birthdate: July 30, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States
Died: June 28, 2009

 42 Chen Yifei

Chen Yifei
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 12, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ningbo, China
Died: April 10, 2005

 43 Celia Franca

Celia Franca
1
Famous As: Artistic Director
Birthdate: June 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 19, 2007

 44 Břetislav Pojar

Břetislav Pojar
1
Famous As: Film director, Animator, Educationist
Birthdate: October 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sušice
Died: October 12, 2012

 45 Carmen Dillon

Carmen Dillon
1
Famous As: Film Art Director
Birthdate: October 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 12, 2000

 46 Boris Pokrovskyky

Boris Pokrovskyky
1
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: January 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 5, 2009

 47 Lazare Meerson

Lazare Meerson
1
Famous As: Art director
Birthdate: July 8, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Russian Empire
Died: June 28, 1938

 48 Mary Day

Mary Day
1
Famous As: Dance teacher and artistic director
Birthdate: January 25, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 11, 2006

 49 Benjamin Harkarvy

Benjamin Harkarvy
1
Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: December 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 30, 2002

 50 Diego García

Diego García
1
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: January 13, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oviedo, Spain
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