Word Request
March 16, 2008 4:26 AM   Subscribe

Title of a specific member of a design team

If, hypothetically speaking, there was a design project involving a large number of designers and consultants, and if there was one person on the team at whom all threads originated - and returned - who provided a solid centre, and who had the role of taking all the different conclusions and suggestions and priorities and massaging them into a harmonious construct...

What would this person be called? Or what would their role be called?
posted by tabubilgirl to Writing & Language (22 answers total)
Traffic manager?
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 4:32 AM on March 16, 2008

Nexus? Nodal Point? Wampeter?
posted by coevals at 4:53 AM on March 16, 2008

Best answer: Project co-ordinator?

I sat "coordinator" rather than "manager" because your description implies a fairly benign position. They aren't making decisions. They're aggregating and disseminating information, but not providing any actual direction.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on March 16, 2008

Art Director?
Creative Lead?
Creative Director?
posted by mattoxic at 6:08 AM on March 16, 2008

Something with "director" in it, I'd think.

How about "design director"?

And please, world, don't feel you must capitalize all job titles. A unique title, yes, like President of the United States. But one art director should leave the initial letters lower case.

Sorry for the derail. I run into this all the time and it bothers me; you may think it's harmless, but it makes otherwise reasonable people seem subtly self-aggrandizing, and there's no reason for that to happen.
posted by amtho at 6:12 AM on March 16, 2008

Project lead.
Project manager.

The former works if the position involves decision-making and a lot of responsibility; the latter if it is more of a coordination role.
posted by missjenny at 6:36 AM on March 16, 2008

Project manager, indeed.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 6:38 AM on March 16, 2008

If the person is actually involved in the design, art, creative strategy, it's a creative director.

If the person moves the stuff around from person to person, seeing that priorities are met and things get done, but without really doing it, it's a traffic manager.

If the person is the liaison between the creative team and a client, or the rest of the company, then project manager / account executive.
posted by iguanapolitico at 7:39 AM on March 16, 2008

"Doomed"? Look, there is a really common word for this function, and that is manager. If someone is doing this without being called a manager, then they are in the crappy situation of having responsibility without power. These responsibility-without-power jobs are really easy to get into if you are a certain type of person. The tone of your post gives me a feeling that you are a well-liked, non-hierarchical type of person.

Maybe I am just projecting from my own work experiences, but listen to an old lady who has been there: you are doing your career no favors by taking on the work without getting the pay or title that should come with it. It may take some asking and negotiating - but people don't get what they deserve in life, they get what they negotiate. So for what it's worth, my advice is to choose a title that sounds fancier (to you) than you think you deserve. Ask for a small raise if you are taking on additional responsibility. You are probably worth more than you think.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:00 AM on March 16, 2008

Quoting Star Trek TOS Episode 62:

"Who controls this complex?"
"Control..? CONTROLLER?"
posted by tra at 8:06 AM on March 16, 2008

I'd go with "Director" of some kind.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on March 16, 2008

nthing Project Manager
posted by miss lynnster at 9:21 AM on March 16, 2008

I'd have to guess "Steve Jobs"
posted by leakymem at 9:36 AM on March 16, 2008

Avoid the word 'director' at all costs because it's confusingly loaded with other meanings. And you're most certainly NOT describing a creative or art director, which are quite different things.

You're describing a project manager, or if it's someone without steering power (they cannot make changes, only steward the decisions of others), it's a controller or traffic manager.
posted by rokusan at 11:16 AM on March 16, 2008

Where I work they used to be called traffic managers, now are called project managers or project specialists.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 11:16 AM on March 16, 2008

Well, selfmedicating is projecting some issues. ;) Everything she says is true. But the OP never said anything even hinting that she is in a bad position. There is nothing inherently wrong with the position tabubilgirl is describing. In fact, it can be awesome and lucrative. We do not know if the OP *has* the position, *wants* the position, knows somebody in the position and is worried about them, or knows somebody in the position and covets it for herself.

In the ad agencies I work at, there are hardly any positions with "manager" in the title, and those who are managers really do not touch a project at every step as described. (They are more like staffing managers: they run whatever department it is, but they do not take active roles in creative projects.) But we do not know if the OP is even talking about ad agencies. As often happens, we need more info, and the OP has left us high and dry. :)

(Sorry for all the "do not"s and such ... suddenly my apostrophe key is not functioning properly.)

That is all. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:39 AM on March 16, 2008

(Except traffic managers, but again, they are not involved in the creative process. They are VERY important, but they do not influence the creative. At least nowhere I have worked.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:40 AM on March 16, 2008

posted by jopreacher at 11:43 AM on March 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for your responses. I'd like to emphasize that I am NOT myself in this position - the question is entirely academic!
posted by tabubilgirl at 3:48 PM on March 16, 2008

OK, in that case ignore my projections and count my vote for either "manager" or "coordinator".
posted by selfmedicating at 5:41 PM on March 16, 2008

Traffic Wrangler
posted by plinth at 6:48 PM on March 16, 2008

project manager
posted by muscat at 12:52 AM on March 17, 2008

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