Now that you have studied and earned that degree, take a moment and carefully consider which route you wish to follow in the graphic design industry. Many positions remain open for those with a graphic design degree in advertising agencies, design firms, marketing firms, in-house publishing companies and any business needing qualified people who can communicate visually. Positions in the graphic design industry include production designers, art directors, layout artists, logo designers, flash designers, illustrators, photographers and web designers.
Some consider this position as entry level only and most people who enter the graphic design industry enter through here. However, some folks end up working as layout artists because they enjoy the work. A layout artist works with the structure and design of images and text usually found in advertisements, publications, brochures, flyers, posters and other similar items. Layout artists also make suggestions for color specification, type font and text format. This job may require knowledge of QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, Illustrator and PhotoShop.
Illustrators serve as pre-visualization experts for ad agencies, graphic design firms and in-house art departments. An illustrator can represent a seemingly intangible idea or concept using two or three-dimensional images. These images, or illustrations, provide a visual reference that may serve as a conceptualization or a finished illustration. The ability to create an image from an idea serves as the most important skill an illustrator can possess. Illustrators must also learn to use a wide variety of media ranging from a simple pencil to a high-end software program like Adobe Illustrator or PhotoShop.
Art directors typically work under the supervision of a creative director on various projects. As an AD, you most likely will have charge of a team of artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, copywriters and production staff. With this team of specialized talent, you will combine your talents together to create and produce magazine ads, outdoor billboards, point-of-purchase displays, graphics for commercial applications and many other items. ADs typically work in ad agencies, publishing houses, public relations firms and manufacturing facilities.
Similar to the art director, a creative director supervises creative teams. The biggest difference between the two positions lies in the responsibilities associated with each. A creative director typically supervises a team of art directors who then go and work on various projects with their creative teams. Creative directors have more authority and more responsibility. They may also set the creative tone for an entire ad agency, influencing all creative and graphic design aspects of all projects. Creative directors typically hold an executive position like vice president or creative head within a design firm or ad agency.
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