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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

  • $48,500

    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 Jobs

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Production Designer Career Paths

Production Designer
Photographer Writer And Editor Senior Writer
Associate Creative Director
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Design Director Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Communications Manager Writer And Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Art Director
Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Creative Director
Creative Director & Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Design Manager Owner & Designer Senior Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Producer Production Director
Creative Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Production Director Art Director
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Creative/Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer/Production Art Director
Design Director
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Art Director
Freelance Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Creative Director
Senior Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Creative Director
Senior Designer/Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Writer/Director Adjunct Professor Instructional Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Creative Director Marketing Director Writer And Editor
Senior Editor
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Partner Graphic Designer
Senior Graphic Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Web Graphic Designer User Experience Designer Product Designer
Senior Industrial Designer
6 Yearsyrs
User Experience Designer Product Designer Production Artist
Senior Production Artist
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Writer And Editor Editor & Producer
Senior Video Editor
5 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
Designer 3.0 years
Creative Designer 3.0 years
Production Artist 2.9 years
Package Designer 2.9 years
Designer, Printer 2.6 years
Freelance Designer 2.6 years
Set Designer 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Art Director 10.4%
Designer 6.0%
Internship 5.2%
Artist 2.2%
Director 2.2%
Assistant 1.9%
Top Employers After
Art Director 12.5%
Designer 5.7%
Internship 2.8%
Director 2.6%
Owner 1.9%
Volunteer 1.9%

Do you work as a Production Designer?

Production Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

54.2%

Female

43.1%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

9.4%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

3.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.2%

French

11.5%

Italian

6.7%

Japanese

5.8%

Chinese

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Korean

4.8%

Cantonese

3.8%

Russian

1.9%

Turkish

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%

Indonesian

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Kurdish

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Bosnian

1.0%

Cheyenne

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Croatian

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%
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Production Designer Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

15.2%

Fashion Institute of Technology

9.3%

Columbia College Chicago

8.0%

School of Visual Arts

6.3%

San Jose State University

5.9%

Full Sail University

5.9%

Arizona State University

4.6%

Collins College

4.2%

Academy of Art University

3.8%

New York University

3.8%

University of Phoenix

3.8%

University of Texas at Austin

3.8%

Florida State University

3.8%

Art Institute of Colorado

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.4%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.0%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.0%

Eastern Washington University

2.5%
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Majors

Graphic Design

40.7%

Fine Arts

10.0%

Photography

8.5%

Design And Visual Communication

6.0%

Communication

4.5%

Computer Applications

4.5%

Business

3.0%

Theatre

2.5%

Drafting And Design

2.3%

Animation

2.2%

English

2.1%

Marketing

1.8%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.7%

Graphic Communications

1.7%

Computer Science

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Digital Media

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Architecture

1.3%

Interior Design

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.5%

Other

16.0%

Masters

10.9%

Associate

9.8%

Certificate

4.3%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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
Production Designer Tiffany and Company New York, NY Aug 06, 2016 $70,000
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
Senior Production Designer, Online Design E! Entertainment Television Los Angeles, CA May 14, 2011 $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 Sep 30, 2012 $46,010
Multimedia Production Designer Vasinee Food Corporation New York, NY Oct 01, 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

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  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Art
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Review, edit, customize and approve various stationery and custom orders for customers worldwide utilizing Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS5.
  • Design and production for agency focusing on the housing/builders market particularly Master Planned Communities.
  • Produced advertisements for local businesses Designed section headers and front page promotions Assisted in page layout and oversaw color accuracy
  • Photographed products and edited photos, worked with initial design concepts, developed web banners and email blasts
  • Constructed print ads (to multiple specs), posters and brochures using a single, approved design as their origin.

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Top Production Designer Employers

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Jobs From Top Production Designer Employers

Production Designer Videos

What Does A Production Designer Do?

Production Designer

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