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Become A Production Artist

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Working As A Production Artist

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $64,040

    Average Salary

What Does A Production Artist 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

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 Jobs

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Production Artist Career Paths

Production Artist
Photographer Sales Manager Retail Sales Manager
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director Marketing Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Instructor Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Artist Designer Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Designer Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Production Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Art Director Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Office Manager Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Art Director Creative Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Media Specialist Media Manager
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Director Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer
Senior Graphic Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Web Designer User Experience Designer User Experience Architect
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Production Artist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Artist 4.3 years
Graphic Technician 4.0 years
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Layout Artist 3.1 years
Production Artist 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 5.8%
Artist 4.9%
Designer 3.6%
Top Employers After
Artist 4.6%
Designer 4.1%
Owner 2.3%

Do you work as a Production Artist?

Production Artist Demographics

Gender

Male

56.1%

Female

42.0%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

78.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.4%

French

7.2%

Italian

5.8%

Chinese

5.1%

Mandarin

4.3%

Portuguese

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Cantonese

2.9%

Polish

2.2%

Russian

1.4%

Swahili

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Indonesian

0.7%

Yoruba

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%
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Production Artist Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

13.5%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

10.2%

Academy of Art University

8.0%

Full Sail University

7.6%

School of Visual Arts

6.8%

Art Institute of California - Inland

6.4%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.6%

New York University

4.0%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.8%

San Francisco State University

3.6%

Columbia College Chicago

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.2%

University of North Texas

3.0%

Bowling Green State University

2.8%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

2.8%

Rhode Island School of Design

2.8%

Syracuse University

2.6%

California State University - Fullerton

2.6%

Kansas State University

2.6%
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Majors

Graphic Design

42.4%

Fine Arts

12.0%

Design And Visual Communication

6.7%

Computer Applications

5.0%

Animation

4.8%

Photography

4.1%

Communication

3.5%

Graphic Communications

3.0%

Business

2.8%

Computer Science

2.1%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.9%

Digital Media

1.6%

English

1.5%

Advertising

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%

Education

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Journalism

1.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.6%

Other

18.9%

Associate

14.5%

Masters

7.9%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Production Artist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Digital Matte Artist Industrial Light & Magic, A Div of Lucasfilm Enter San Francisco, CA Oct 11, 2012 $138,493
Digital Artist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 18, 2016 $137,000 -
$191,000
Digital Artist 1 Digital Domain 3.0 CA Jan 30, 2013 $134,787
Digital Artist 2/FX Artist Digital Domain Productions, Inc. CA Feb 14, 2011 $111,150
Digital Artist 1/Compositor Digital Domain Productions, Inc. CA Oct 22, 2012 $111,150
Digital Artist 1/Compositor Digital Domain 3.0, Inc. CA Oct 22, 2012 $111,150
Digital Artist Absolute Post, Inc. New York, NY Apr 30, 2012 $110,000
Lead Production Artist Just Games Interactive Entertainment, LLC Los Angeles, CA Jun 01, 2013 $89,856 -
$95,000
Digital Matte Artist Lucasfilm International Services, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 09, 2012 $89,741
Retail Production Artist Schawk USA Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 12, 2014 $84,000 -
$94,000
Digital Artist 3/Modeler Digital Domain Productions, Inc. CA Oct 03, 2011 $81,520
Multimedia Digital Artist Eight VFX Inc. Santa Monica, CA Feb 01, 2014 $80,000
Digital Compositing Artist Pixomondo LLC Santa Monica, CA Oct 01, 2011 $80,000 -
$130,000
Digital Artist Shutterpunch LLC Culver City, CA Jul 13, 2015 $58,436
Digital Artist Neoscape, Inc. New York, NY Feb 01, 2012 $58,000 -
$68,000
Digital Imaging Artist/Retoucher Form & Fiction LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2014 $58,000
Production Artist Oasis Bags USA Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2012 $58,000 -
$65,000
3D Digital Artist Shade VFX, LLC Santa Monica, CA Oct 03, 2012 $57,393
Production Artist Concept Art House, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 09, 2016 $56,555
Digital Artist Scanline VFX La, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2011 $56,349
Production Artist PTT, LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $47,133 -
$50,000
Digital Artist Psyop Productions LLC New York, NY Sep 16, 2014 $47,000 -
$80,000
Production Artist Zachary A. Barth Redmond, WA Sep 11, 2013 $46,925 -
$51,925
Production Artist Concept Art House, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 13, 2016 $46,862 -
$50,000
Digital Effects Artist Deluxe Media Group LLC Santa Monica, CA Nov 21, 2011 $45,914 -
$60,523

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Top Skills for A Production Artist

AdobePhotoshopProductionArtCompanyWebsiteLayoutAdobeIllustratorAdobeIndesignPhotographyGraphicDesignColorCorrectionMacVideoArtistsArtDirectionConceptArtQuarkCustomerServicePDFPrintProductionPowerpointLargeFormat

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  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Production Art
  3. Company Website
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Gained familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator programs.
  • Worked as a post-production artist and 2D animator producing television commercials using Adobe After Effects.
  • Produced graphics for usage on Atari.com, and other company websites.
  • Directed complete book/project production, from initial layout/design to final preparation.
  • Prepped artwork for screen printing, encompassing completion of vector artwork in Adobe Illustrator as well as heavy Photoshop work.

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