Our mission is to help you discover
your creative problem solving potential. Ideas above all else.

Ideas are the currency of your career. Whether you’re an aspiring advertising or design creative, an entrepreneur building a business, or an agent of social change, we’ll help you discover your creative problem solving potential so you can apply those skills to your professional goals. Assignments centered around marketing, design and social problems are at the core of our curriculum, and you’ll learn to challenge the status quo with disruptive solutions. Ideas above all else.

We are the first and only program of its kind in Austin.

Our instructors are all working professionals in Austin. (left to right) Oen Hammonds, Russell Toynes, Jennette Lemley and Will Chau.

Our instructors are all working professionals in Austin. (left to right) Oen Hammonds, Russell Toynes, Jennette Lemley and Will Chau.

We were founded in 2011 as a new model of higher education: a learning process that’s as close as you can get to on-the-job training, where courses are taught by senior-level working professionals, not by tenured professors. In lieu of the traditional classroom, courses are held at actual agencies and studios. Real-world assignments from actual clients are a part of the curriculum, and students pitch their creative ideas to the client. Winning concepts can ultimately get produced, and the winning student(s) can get paid an actual professional fee.*

With the costs of higher education becoming unattainable for many people, we offer an alternative for
those who may not have the time or means to go to a traditional art/design school. Our program consists
of specialized course offerings where students can enroll per course without having to commit to an entire year’s worth of tuition.

Guest speakers ranging from designers, writers, art directors, digital developers, producers, strategic planners, photographers, filmmakers and others offer students a well-rounded and firsthand insight
into all the disciplines within advertising/design.

Our student population ranges from current and past four-year college students looking to further refine their portfolios to professionals looking for a career change/enhancement.

* Real client assignments are not offered in every course.

Just a few of the companies where our former students have landed jobs:

We believe in giving back.

We are committed to shepherding more diversity into the fields of advertising and design. Each year, we will offer one full-tuition scholarship (to any and all courses) to a student of diversity who shows financial need, talent and an exceptional drive. It’s our way of not just helping someone create great work, but helping them make a difference in their life.

If you or someone you know deserves scholarship consideration, please contact us for an interview.

Elizabeth Perez was our first scholarship recipient. She came to us with a lot of heart and self-taught illustration talent, but not much opportunity. A year and a half and four courses later, Elizabeth started getting multiple job offers from great companies, and she ultimately accepted an art director job at
Leo Burnett, Chicago.

"People come into our lives for
a reason, but only a few show you all your potential to accomplish so much more than you imagined. Will Chau has changed so much of not just my life, but of my family’s as well. He gave me a chance that
nobody was willing to give.

Elizabeth Perez
Art Director
Leo Burnett, Chicago

We're proud to announce our newest full-scholarship recipient, Damian Flores. Damian is an aspiring film director and writer. He is a member of Austin's E4 Youth Program, whose mission is to bridge the gap between underserved youth and creative commercial arts careers.

"I would have never thought that I would be chosen to be awarded a scholarship to ACD. This is much more than just a class, its the fundamental groundwork of creating strong conceptual work. I’m very thankful to Will Chau, who invested his time and dedication to give someone like me the chance to truly demonstrate what I’m capable off. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m enjoying it."

Damian Flores
ACD Scholarship Recipient
(Future Director/Writer)

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Classes are held in
the evenings at actual ad agencies and studios. This will be as close as it gets to a real working environment since you’ll literally be in it. 

Our students have won multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Austin Addys over the last few years, not to mention Gold and Bronze Regional Addys too.

The prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual has awarded our students Gold, Silver and Merit Awards. In 2014, we had more work featured in the New Talent Annual than any other school in Texas.

"After 3 courses, priceless advice, and a lot of hard work, I had an Art Director internship and a Gold Addy award under my belt, and I'm now transitioning into a full-time position as a Junior Art Director. The Austin Creative Department will push you hard and you will get out of it exactly what you put into it. And it's SO worth it."

Sierra Jena
ACD Alumni
Junior Art Director
Doner, Los Angeles