Studio Manager

Job Description

Studio Managers are usually in creative agencies where they oversee, support and manage the delivery of design projects. They understand all of the elements of the design process from end-to end.

Studio Manager

Also known as...

Head of Creative Studio, Creative Project Manager

The role in brief... 

Studio Managers are usually in creative agencies where they oversee, support and manage the delivery of design projects. They understand all of the elements of the design process from end-to-end. They and are the relationship manager between the Creative Production/Design team and the Account Management team. Their job duties are similar to those of a project manager. This role enables the designers to produce the creative material needed for the project.

Working with...

  • Internal: Across the agency; agency management; agency account teams; Creative teams (predominantly the Art Directors); Creative Services and Production; Traffic; Design team; Finance;
  • External: Print and Design companies and other third parties as required.
  • The Studio Manager may report to the Head of Creative Studio, or the Managing Director.

Responsible for...

  • Managing the day to day running of the Creative Studio; managing all studio operations, making full use of project management and collaboration tools.
  • Managing all aspects of the budget for each project, along with financial tracking and controls. Efficiently managing studio time and the Design team, in accordance with the budget.
  • Clearly communicating the client and project needs to the design team to ensure that the work meets the agreed brief.
  • Assessing, interrogating and clarifying client briefs and assigning the appropriate designers to a project.
  • Proofing and reviewing designs and checking documents before they are shared with the account team /client.
  • Assisting on creative production when needed and meeting with team members for feedback.
  • Creating and implementing deadlines, project goals, expectations and workflows, to ensure a smooth production process with on-time delivery.
  • Managing procurement of print, large format production, subscriptions and tools and organise deliveries.
  • Curating image libraries and video, art work and branding assets. Ensuring files are stored and named according to protocols and timesheets are completed effectively.
  • Setting up systems and processes so that the studio and the wider agency are aware of how the creative studio operates.
  • Manages the multi-disciplinary studio team which may comprise of a range of designers, creative directors, digital skills and freelancers; setting daily priorities and supporting CPD for the team.
  • Involved in recruitment and selection decisions.
  • Focused on the personal and professional development of their team.  Whilst Studio Managers will sometimes hire freelancers for specialist jobs they will also upskill their team so that the expertise (and profit) can stay in house.

Those who succeed are...

  • Proficient in design and digital development processes.
  • Skilled with Adobe applications including inDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat and Microsoft Office applications. Skilled in general art working, press preparation and possibly website content updates using CMS programmes such as Wordpress.
  • Flexible in managing multiple projects, requiring multiple skills, deadlines and budgets.
  • Connected in the design industry to source freelancers/contractors and new suppliers.
  • Relationship builders and balance the client, the work and the team.

Where they come from, and where they go…

Creative Studio Managers may have previously held graphic design positions. They have experience of all aspects of the creative process in some way. Whilst they are expert in their own area, they have a 360 degree knowledge of all of the components of the agency creative process. This is not an art direction role as it has an emphasis on communication and project management skills. They may go on to work for a production company.

Last updated 21 January 2022