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Become A Production Designer

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Working As A Production Designer

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

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Production 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 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 Designer Career Paths

Production Designer
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Art Director Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Project Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Design Manager/Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Owner Art Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Lead User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Visual Designer User Experience Designer Product Designer
Product Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Managing Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Producer Managing Editor Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Designer Design Manager Graphic Design Manager
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Print Production Manager Creative Services Manager
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Producer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Creative Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Design Consultant Design Manager Graphic Design Manager
Creative Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Production Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Graphic Designer 3.1 years
Production Artist 3.0 years
Package Designer 3.0 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Designer, Printer 2.7 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Visual Designer 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Production Designer
Internship 6.3%
Designer 6.2%
Artist 2.0%
Director 1.8%
Top Careers After Production Designer
Art Director 11.5%
Designer 6.8%
Internship 3.2%
Director 2.3%

Do you work as a Production Designer?

Production Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

50.3%

Female

41.1%

Unknown

8.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

9.4%

Asian

9.2%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.4%

French

10.2%

Italian

7.6%

Chinese

5.1%

Japanese

5.1%

Mandarin

4.5%

Korean

3.2%

Portuguese

3.2%

Cantonese

2.5%

Hindi

1.9%

Russian

1.3%

German

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Swahili

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Indonesian

0.6%

Bosnian

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Kurdish

0.6%
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Production Designer Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

11.0%

Full Sail University

8.3%

Fashion Institute of Technology

7.6%

School of Visual Arts

7.4%

Academy of Art University

6.8%

Columbia College Chicago

6.2%

Arizona State University

5.6%

New York University

5.4%

San Jose State University

5.0%

Art Institute of Phoenix

4.8%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.9%

Art Institute of California - Inland

3.5%

San Diego State University

3.5%

Collins College

3.5%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.5%

Emerson College

2.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

2.9%

University of Texas at Austin

2.9%

Michigan State University

2.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.7%
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Majors

Graphic Design

42.9%

Fine Arts

9.9%

Photography

8.8%

Design And Visual Communication

6.3%

Computer Applications

4.4%

Communication

4.0%

Business

2.7%

Animation

2.4%

Drafting And Design

2.0%

Graphic Communications

2.0%

Theatre

1.9%

Interior Design

1.6%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.5%

English

1.5%

Marketing

1.5%

Computer Science

1.5%

Architecture

1.5%

Entertainment Business

1.2%

Digital Media

1.2%

Education

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.6%

Other

15.3%

Associate

11.5%

Masters

10.1%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Entercom Communications
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Production Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Production Designer in the United States is $58,822 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $93,000.

Real Production Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Production Designer Dreamworks Animation LLC Glendale, CA Oct 01, 2010 $171,600
Interactive Production Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 23, 2012 $125,000
Interactive Production Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 28, 2012 $125,000
Production Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 15, 2016 $120,000 -
$151,300
Production Designer Henry Gertmenian Co. San Francisco, CA Mar 12, 2010 $105,040
Interactive Production Designer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 26, 2014 $105,000 -
$125,000
Production Designer Kw Fashion Corp New York, NY Sep 14, 2015 $81,101
Production Designer Majesco Software and Solutions, Inc. Temple, TX Jan 27, 2016 $78,252
Production Designer Entertainment Design Corporation Los Angeles, CA Nov 29, 2016 $77,688
Production Designer Entertainment Design Corporation Los Angeles, CA Mar 21, 2016 $74,506
Architectural Production Designer Wwcot Architects Santa Monica, CA Aug 24, 2009 $70,958
Web Production Designer Alteryx, Inc. San Mateo, CA Sep 01, 2013 $70,000 -
$80,000
Senior Production Designer, Online Design E! Entertainment Television Los Angeles, CA May 14, 2011 $60,000
Lead Production Designer Just PBC New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $60,000
Head Production Designer Wakingup Media, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 15, 2010 $60,000
Production Designer Noise Marketing LLC New York, NY Sep 02, 2014 $58,000
Production Designer The Daily Holdings, Inc. F/K/A News DP Holdings, I New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $57,500
Production Designer Textiles From Europe, Inc. Edison, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $55,286
Interactive Production Designer The Daily Holdings, Inc. F/K/A News DP Holdings, I New York, NY Jan 24, 2011 $47,000
Production Designer MODA Operandi, Inc. New York, NY Apr 08, 2013 $46,100
Multimedia Production Designer Vasinee Food Corporation New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $46,010
Multimedia Production Designer Vasinee Food Corporation New York, NY Sep 30, 2012 $46,010
Designer, Production Department Idea Factory International, Inc. Gardena, CA Jul 01, 2015 $45,510
Production Designer 2X4, Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Production Designer

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Art Direction
  3. Graphic Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Color corrected and edited product photography in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Awarded Best Art Direction at Toronto Urban Film Festival, New York International Film and Video Festival, and others.
  • Provided interpretation of concepts and information developing it into a compelling presentation utilizing graphic design standards.
  • Produced advertisements for local businesses Designed section headers and front page promotions Assisted in page layout and oversaw color accuracy
  • Produced web banners and social media designs for shows such as Duck Dynasty and created logos for web series.

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Top 10 Best States for Production Designers

  1. California
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Washington
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Virginia
  6. Oregon
  7. Rhode Island
  8. New York
  9. Connecticut
  10. Georgia
  • (1,513 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (265 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)
  • (347 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (945 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (472 jobs)

Top Production Designer Employers

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