A graphic artist is either an illustrator or an animator who creates art work that will be used in graphic projects such as advertisements, posters, or even book covers. Although a graphic artist has his/her own style of artwork, he/she may be often commissioned to create art specifically for a particular project. A graphic artist may work with a graphic designer in order to convey the overall message of a project. The portfolio of a graphic artist includes cartoons, illustrations, and graphic novels.

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Graphic Artist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real graphic artist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage external communications such as brochures and other sales collateral for direct mail from inception to circulation.
  • Develop, debug, and maintain client websites using HTML & CSS, WordPress, and basic use of JavaScript.
  • Flash & Dreamweaver software assisting in production of the company website.
  • Create custom graphic art for cars, windows, store fronts, business signs.
  • Design and implement the company's first Facebook app and engages in designing everything encompassing pixels and print.
  • Design, develop and maintain websites as projects present themselves with the use of HTML and WYSIWYG web development tools.
  • Create internal and external publications including monthly newsletters and seasonal brochures.
  • Handle in-depth costumer service with regional clients for desktop publishing specifications.
  • Implement a company Facebook page to strengthen customer loyalty and publicity.
  • Perform desktop publishing and print preparation for training materials and relate publications.
  • Create original artwork and produce print-ready designs for in-house screen-printing and embroidery.
  • Translate designs through digitization into embroidery, applique/twill, and sequin placements.
  • Design and produce logos, business/personal stationery packages, advertising and typesetting.
  • Develop critical in-depth multimedia PowerPoint presentations for executive staff for use in sales meetings.
  • Design advertisements, integrating typesetting, print preparation, color separation, and proofreading.

Graphic Artist Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, graphic artist jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a graphic artist?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of graphic artist opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 8,800.

A graphic artist annual salary averages $54,900, which breaks down to $26.39 an hour. However, graphic artists can earn anywhere from upwards of $35,000 to $84,000 a year. This means that the top-earning graphic artists make $53,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a graphic artist, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include an associate designer, visual merchandiser, visual designer, and junior designer.

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12 Graphic Artist Resume Examples

Graphic Artist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Graphic Artists are proficient in Graphic Design, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Artistic ability, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Graphic Artists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Graphic Design, 12%

    Designed brochures and other promotional documentation for the credited and noncredit programs of study Graphic Designer - National Center for Public

  • Adobe Photoshop, 10%

    Created the company's online presence using HTML, Flash, and Adobe PhotoShop.

  • Adobe Illustrator, 9%

    Utilized Adobe Illustrator to design logos and manipulate artwork for in advertisements.

  • Art Direction, 7%

    Collaborated on art direction, graphic content and marketing initiatives.

  • Photography, 5%

    Transitioned the multimedia services center from film-based photography to digital imaging in compliance with air force regulations.

  • Brochures, 4%

    Managed external communications such as brochures and other sales collateral for direct mail from inception to circulation.

Some of the skills we found on graphic artist resumes included "graphic design," "adobe photoshop," and "adobe illustrator." We have detailed the most important graphic artist responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a graphic artist to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a graphic artist resume, you'll understand why: "graphic designers must be able to perceive their work from their consumers’ point of view to ensure that the designs convey the client’s message." According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a graphic artist in order to "updated fluid dynamic website dreamweaver and notepad ++ using all w3c standards including metadata, and alt image info. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling graphic artist duties is artistic ability. According to a graphic artist resume, "graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers." Here's an example of how graphic artists are able to utilize artistic ability: "provide artistic support to management and staff, including scanning, high-resolution digital touch-up and color correction work. "
  • Graphic artists are also known for communication skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a graphic artist resume: "graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "design and complete desktop publishing tasks, craft compelling graphics imagery, and display creative skills to support communication goals. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "computer skills" is important to completing graphic artist responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way graphic artists use this skill: "most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical graphic artist tasks: "managed and built out company's internal lan while supporting all desktop computers. "
  • As part of the graphic artist description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "creativity." A graphic artist resume included this snippet: "graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "achieved this via my ability for color correction, retouching, image manipulation, creative page composition. "
  • Another skill commonly found on graphic artist resumes is "time-management skills." This description of the skill was found on several graphic artist resumes: "graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day graphic artist responsibilities: "worked as a graphic artist for the magazine, insight, which was a weekly publication of the washington times. "
  • See the full list of graphic artist skills.

    Before becoming a graphic artist, 61.2% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 3.2% graphic artists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most graphic artists have a college degree. But about one out of every six graphic artists didn't attend college at all.

    Those graphic artists who do attend college, typically earn either graphic design degrees or fine arts degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for graphic artists include design and visual communication degrees or communication degrees.

    When you're ready to become a graphic artist, you might wonder which companies hire graphic artists. According to our research through graphic artist resumes, graphic artists are mostly hired by Northrop Grumman, Advantage Solutions, and Nexstar Media Group. Now is a good time to apply as Northrop Grumman has 10 graphic artists job openings, and there are 8 at Advantage Solutions and 6 at Nexstar Media Group.

    Since salary is important to some graphic artists, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Parsons, Marcus & Millichap, and Bloomberg. If you were to take a closer look at Parsons, you'd find that the average graphic artist salary is $105,656. Then at Marcus & Millichap, graphic artists receive an average salary of $104,774, while the salary at Bloomberg is $95,649.

    View more details on graphic artist salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a graphic artist include Aquent, Whole Foods Market, and Creative Group. These three companies were found to hire the most graphic artists from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The industries that graphic artists fulfill the most roles in are the transportation and technology industries. But the highest graphic artist annual salary is in the non profits industry, averaging $68,382. In the technology industry they make $65,208 and average about $58,981 in the professional industry. In conclusion, graphic artists who work in the non profits industry earn a 12.0% higher salary than graphic artists in the retail industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious graphic artists are:

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    What Associate Designers Do

    An Associate Designer helps in developing sketches on paper and in graphic design software. They usually are supervised by the junior staff and interns.

    We looked at the average graphic artist annual salary and compared it with the average of an associate designer. Generally speaking, associate designers receive $1,870 higher pay than graphic artists per year.

    Even though graphic artists and associate designers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require graphic design, adobe photoshop, and adobe illustrator in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a graphic artist responsibilities require skills like "art direction," "photography," "brochures," and "adobe creative suite." Meanwhile a typical associate designer has skills in areas such as "sketch," "customer service," "human centered design," and "space planning." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Associate designers tend to make the most money in the retail industry by averaging a salary of $61,366. In contrast, graphic artists make the biggest average salary of $68,382 in the non profits industry.

    On average, associate designers reach similar levels of education than graphic artists. Associate designers are 2.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Visual Merchandiser?

    A visual merchandiser is responsible for arranging product displays at retail outlets, attracting customers to purchase the items. Visual merchandisers should be updated with the latest trends in the market to prioritize retail displays and floor plans. They must also be knowledgeable on product information to assist customers with their inquiries and concerns. Visual merchandisers should be creative in setting up the uniformity of the store's visuals within the budget goals. The designs must be appealing enough to drive the customers around the premises, potentially generating revenues and increasing profitability.

    Now we're going to look at the visual merchandiser profession. On average, visual merchandisers earn a $16,863 lower salary than graphic artists a year.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real graphic artist resumes. While graphic artist responsibilities can utilize skills like "graphic design," "adobe photoshop," "adobe illustrator," and "art direction," some visual merchandisers use skills like "customer service," "ladders," "sales floor," and "store management."

    Visual merchandisers may earn a lower salary than graphic artists, but visual merchandisers earn the most pay in the retail industry with an average salary of $37,869. On the other side of things, graphic artists receive higher paychecks in the non profits industry where they earn an average of $68,382.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, visual merchandisers tend to reach similar levels of education than graphic artists. In fact, they're 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Visual Designer Compares

    A visual designer is someone who creates designs for a variety of platforms such as Internet and intranet sites, games, and wearables. The duties of visual designers depend on the specific project or industry in which they are working. Duties include creating user-centered interaction models, working with information technology and business teams to resolve complex issues, and designing logos, icons, and infographics. The qualifications to become a visual designer include possessing strong problem-solving, communication, and negotiation skills and obtaining a bachelor's degree in design.

    The visual designer profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of graphic artists. The difference in salaries is visual designers making $31,595 higher than graphic artists.

    Using graphic artists and visual designers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "graphic design," "adobe photoshop," and "adobe illustrator," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a graphic artist is likely to be skilled in "brochures," "posters," "mac," and "sample layouts," while a typical visual designer is skilled in "sketch," "visual design," "ui," and "user experience."

    Visual designers make a very good living in the start-up industry with an average annual salary of $121,675. Whereas graphic artists are paid the highest salary in the non profits industry with the average being $68,382.

    Visual designers typically study at higher levels compared with graphic artists. For example, they're 5.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Junior Designer

    A junior designer is an entry-level professional who is responsible for creating high-quality designs according to the requirements of clients. Under the supervision of senior designers, junior designers must understand project requirements and projects and use various techniques to create drafts, models, and prototypes. They collaborate with team members to pitch in creative ideas and produce final design solutions that can include banners or logos. Junior designers must also take on specially design tasks and use feedback from other designers to improve.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than graphic artists. On average, junior designers earn a difference of $1,551 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, graphic artists and junior designers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "graphic design," "adobe photoshop," and "adobe illustrator. "

    Each job requires different skills like "photography," "brochures," "adobe indesign," and "posters," which might show up on a graphic artist resume. Whereas junior designer might include skills like "sketch," "revit," "construction drawings," and "auto cad."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The technology industry tends to pay more for junior designers with an average of $55,726. While the highest graphic artist annual salary comes from the non profits industry.

    Junior designers reach similar levels of education when compared to graphic artists. The difference is that they're 1.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Graphic Artist Does FAQs

    Graphic Artist Vs. Graphic Designer

    A graphic artist is someone commissioned to create graphic art for a specific project, while a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts to communicate information.

    Graphic artists may be illustrators or animators. They tend to have a specific style that lends themselves to be hired for certain types of projects. Graphic artists are involved in a wide array of projects including comic books, advertisements, company pamphlets, and book jacket covers.

    Is Graphic Design A Dying Career?

    No, graphic design is not a dying career. However, it is a rapidly changing industry that will require significant upskilling to keep up with the changes.

    The biggest area of growth in graphic design is in digital graphic design. As businesses transition from print advertising and publishing to digital and online marketing, this will increase.

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