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Become A Production Artist/Designer

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Working As A Production Artist/Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Production Artist/Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Production Artist/Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

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Production Artist/Designer Career Paths

Production Artist/Designer
Graphic Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Consultant Marketing Manager
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Web Graphic Designer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Designer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Supervisor Shipping Supervisor
Traffic Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Designer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Artist Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Artist Social Media Manager Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Artist Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Designer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Designer Design Manager Creative Services Manager
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Package Designer Design Manager Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Production Artist/Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Artist 4.4 years
Designer/Artist 4.3 years
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Production Artist 3.0 years
Designer, Printer 2.7 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Production Artist/Designer
Designer 4.2%
Artist 2.8%
Internship 2.6%
Top Careers After Production Artist/Designer
Designer 5.2%
Owner 1.3%
Artist 1.3%

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Production Artist/Designer?

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Top Skills for A Production Artist/Designer

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Layout
  3. Print ADS
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Corrected color, poses and line work for license approval for apparel design using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
  • Designed and created custom magazine layouts and catalog advertisements.
  • Designed outdoor digital and traditional billboards, posters, print ads and invitations.
  • Total Graphic Solutions 2003 - Present Freelance Graphic Designer * Worked with clients all across the United States through E-lance online.
  • Design and produce advertisements, brochures, and instructional pamphlets for clients including Gilead, Bayer, and Retin-A-Micro.

Production Artist/Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

48.1%

Female

44.3%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

9.8%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.7%

French

13.0%

Japanese

10.9%

Russian

6.5%

Korean

4.3%

Chinese

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

German

2.2%

Yoruba

2.2%

Cantonese

2.2%

Dakota

2.2%

Thai

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Production Artist/Designer Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

9.7%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

9.7%

Academy of Art University

8.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

5.9%

New York University

5.4%

Art Institute of California - Inland

5.4%

San Francisco State University

4.9%

Full Sail University

4.9%

California State University - Fullerton

4.3%

Collins College

4.3%

California State University - Northridge

4.3%

Maryland Institute College of Art

4.3%

Syracuse University

3.8%

Columbia College Chicago

3.8%

Northern Illinois University

3.8%

American Academy of Art

3.8%

Art Institute of Atlanta

3.8%

Bowling Green State University

3.2%

Arizona State University

3.2%

Temple University

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

53.7%

Fine Arts

10.8%

Design And Visual Communication

7.6%

Computer Applications

4.7%

Photography

3.1%

Graphic Communications

2.4%

Communication

2.2%

Animation

2.1%

Business

1.7%

Advertising

1.6%

Computer Information Systems

1.4%

Marketing

1.4%

Entertainment Business

1.1%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.1%

Computer Science

1.0%

Liberal Arts

0.9%

Education

0.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.9%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

0.9%

Journalism

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.5%

Other

19.3%

Associate

16.7%

Masters

6.1%

Certificate

6.0%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.2%
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