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Studio manager

Level mid-level | Also known as studio director/Head of Studio

What does a studio manager do?

Studio managers organise the projects that an agency wins so that the agency can find the right people to work on the job. They make sure the agency delivers work to a deadline and that work is high quality, even when teams are working under pressure. 

What’s a studio manager good at?

Studio managers:

– are organised

– have attention to detail

– are good at scheduling, and

– are assertive

Tools of the trade/required knowledge

  1. Knowledge of how deadlines work
  2. Knowledge of how long processes take
  3. Understanding of efficient ways to schedule

Who does a studio manager work with?

Studio Managers work with the full company. They manage the team of designers and artworkers, taking projects from the project/account managers and passing them on. They coordinate Senior Management’s time to schedule meetings with the wider team. Depending on the agency size, they could work with the top-level management.

How do I become a studio manager?

Studio managers benefit from having been artworkers or designers as a previous role as they then understand how long each task takes on a project. However, a knowledge of project management can be helpful.

At school or college:

Good subjects to take in school/college: Art & Design, IT.

These subjects will give you a route to becoming a designer which is a good starting point for many future Studio Managers.

Career tips:

Look at Project Management qualifications such as PRINCE2.

DBA also have a jobs board where members post openings. Explore the available positions and get familiar with creative role descriptions.

Design Business Association champions the transformative power of design, promoting its strategic and economic value to business and government. As the industry’s trade association we represent a vibrant community of design agencies and design-centric businesses. Together, we are the collective voice for design. 


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