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What does a day in the life of a Creative Director look like?

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a first year graphic design student and talk about what a day in the life of a Creative Director looks like. The goal of the conversation was to help give him context for his future career goals, and as a secondary benefit, I really enjoyed the inspirational opportunity it provided to reflect upon my role with fresh eyes.

I wholeheartedly believe that the role and day-to-day of a Creative Director transforms and evolves to meet the needs of the organization they work within, and in my role at Metal Toad, that has certainly been the case.

I've been the Creative Director at Metal Toad for 4 years now, and in that time, I've had the opportunity to work on a variety of strategic and tactical objectives. No two days have ever been the same, and the variety and scope of my work has kept me growing and challenged.

In my first year as Creative Director, my day to day focused on continuing to design myself while building out an in-house design team from the ground up, including roles, responsibilities, and process. A highlight of that year was driving the creative direction and management of the launch of Metal Toad’s brand refresh, and leading and managing a team for the first time. 

In my second and third year, I had the opportunity to continue to grow the in house team, while piloting and leading a UX/UI team. In my day to day, I managed designers both on the in house side and on the UX side, and had the opportunity to connect with and speak to clients across the full lifecycle of their Metal Toad partnership, from lead to successful product launch. 

At Metal Toad, our mission is "to help people," and we have the honor of helping really smart and talented people solve their business problems utilizing leading edge technologies. This phase of my Creative Director chapter fueled my passion further for spreading the story of the Toads, the work we do, and the value we bring. A highlight of this chapter was establishing UX as a part of Metal Toad's DNA.

In my most recent year, my role has evolved once more to refocus my full efforts back onto the sales, marketing, and brand needs of the business. Today, my role pioneers and leads our content creation, design, and content syndication across our sales and marketing channels. My day to day focuses on a variety of needs — from identifying the narrative for our campaigns, to managing designers, copywriters, or videographers, to managing the branded aspects of our company events, to coaching the Toads on their content creation, to designing a wide variety of sales and marketing deliverables either myself or with my team.

Each day offers new challenges to solve and an opportunity to grow, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to the new year and what the next chapter of my day to day as Creative Director will bring.

For those reading this — what role or job are you most curious or interested in learning more about the day-to-day? If you could ask anyone what their day-to-day looks like, who would you ask and why?

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About the Author

Corinna Gelster-Borgardt, Creative Director

Corinna graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in Graphic Design. With over a decade of experience working as a leader and designer, she oversees and manages the strategic direction and day-to-day execution of the marketing design department at Metal Toad. As the engineering company’s creative visionary, she leads the design department in their mission to unite audience-focused strategic design with meaningful experiences and business value.

Offering a diverse skillset, she's adept at assessing the real “ask”, strategizing solutions, and motivating teams to deliver exceptional work. Yet Corinna considers her role to be about so much more — it’s about being a driven, empathetic, and positive leader who invests in her team, creates focus and alignment, and gets things DONE.

In all endeavors, she brings a passion for adaptability and learning, keen visual skills, and due diligence from concept through completion.

When not leading or designing, you can find her exploring the Oregon coast and local farmer’s markets, running, doing yoga, curling up with a great book, sculpting, or cooking for an impromptu dinner party.

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