As an Art Director, I utilize all my skills and wrap it in my aesthetic: design, communication, organization, narrative, technical know-how, management, and even copywriting.
Quality retouching relies on the art of being unnoticeable. I've spent over twenty years trying to make sure people don't notice my work.
How to marry beauty with utility? It's a magic dance that is part of the ineffable hunt for graphic harmony. It's hard to put your
finger on it but you know it when it works.
This is the delicious candy of working in the graphic arts. You get to create something out of nothing using your understanding of the subject and an estimation of what attracts an audience.