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
4
Birthdate: December 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, USA

 2 
Satoshi Kon
(Animator, Film director, Screenwriter, Mangaka)

Satoshi Kon
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kushiro
Died: August 24, 2010

 3 
Hideaki Anno
(Film director, Animator, Actor, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film actor)

Hideaki Anno
4
Birthdate: May 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ube
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 4 
Eric Stefani
(Musician)

Eric Stefani
4
Birthdate: June 17, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fullerton, California, USA
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 5 
Makoto Shinkai
(Film director, Voice actor, Animator, Screenwriter)

Makoto Shinkai
4
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 
Paul Rand
(Art Director)

Paul Rand
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 26, 1996
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 7 
Saul Bass
(Graphic designer)

Saul Bass
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1914, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: April 5, 1996
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 8 
John Romero
(Video game designer)

John Romero
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
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 9 
John Kricfalusi
(Animator)

John Kricfalusi
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada

 10 
Bud Luckey
(Animator)

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

 11 

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

 12 
Eiko Ishioka
(Art Director)

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

 13 

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

 14 
Massimo Vignelli
(Graphic designer, Architect, University teacher)

Massimo Vignelli
3
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.

 15 
Jorge Gutierrez
(Animator who co-wrote and directed The Book of Life, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film)

Jorge Gutierrez
3
Birthdate: 1975 AD
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico

 16 
Herbert Bayer
(Graphic Designer)

Herbert Bayer
3
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.

 17 
Cedric Gibbons
(Director)

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

 18 
Hermann Zapf
(Type designer, Graphic designer, Calligrapher, University teacher, Postage stamp designer, Painter)

Hermann Zapf
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nuremberg
Died: June 4, 2015
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 19 
Kaneto Shindo
(Film Director)

Kaneto Shindo
2
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.

 20 

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

 21 
Helene Weigel
(Actress)

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

 22 
Tibor Kalman
(Graphic designer)

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

 23 
Ali Hatami
(Film director)

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

 24 
Yuriy Norshteyn
(Animator best known for his animated shorts Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales)

Yuriy Norshteyn
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Penza, Russia

 25 
William Cameron Menzies
(Film Production Designer)

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

 26 
Mitchell Leisen
(Director)

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

 27 
Gabre-Medhin Tsegaye
(Ethiopian Poet)

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

 28 
Marcell Jankovics
(Film director, Screenwriter)

Marcell Jankovics
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest

 29 
Rosario Nadal
(Consultant)

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

 30 
Robert F. Boyle
(Art Director)

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

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam
2
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.

 32 
Sabu Cyril
(Art director, Actor)

Sabu Cyril
0
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

 33 
Yōichi Kotabe
(Animator, Mangaka)

Yōichi Kotabe
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Taipei

 34 
Takami Akai
(Illustrator)

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

 35 
Nelly Kaplan
(Writer, Filmmaker, Film director, Screenwriter, Essayist, Cinematographer)

Nelly Kaplan
1
Birthdate: April 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: November 12, 2020

Argentine-born French author and filmmaker Nelly Kaplan began her career as an assistant of Abel Gance and later worked him on Austerlitz. She won several international awards for her short films, often focusing on women’s issues. She also taught at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques.

 36 
Kōji Yamamura
(Film director, Animator)

Kōji Yamamura
1
Birthdate: June 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nagoya

 37 
Richard Sylbert
(Production designer)

Richard Sylbert
4
Birthdate: April 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 23, 2002

 38 
Mark Morris
(Dancer)

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

 39 
Chen Yifei
(Painter)

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

 40 
Tom Wilkes
(Art Director)

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

 41 

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

 42 
Celia Franca
(Artistic Director)

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

 43 
Břetislav Pojar
(Film director, Animator, Educationist)

Břetislav Pojar
1
Birthdate: October 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sušice
Died: October 12, 2012

 44 

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

 45 
Carmen Dillon
(Film Art Director)

Carmen Dillon
1
Birthdate: October 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 12, 2000

 46 
Lazare Meerson
(Art director)

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

 47 
Mary Day
(Dance teacher and artistic director)

Mary Day
1
Birthdate: January 25, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 11, 2006

 48 
Lindsay Brunnock
(Art Director, Kenneth Branagh’s Wife)

Lindsay Brunnock
1
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Cambridgeshire

 49 
Benjamin Harkarvy
(Choreographer)

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

 50 
Adam Smith
(Costume designer)

Adam Smith
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada