What Does a Commercial Artist Do?

Talented commercial artists aid many different facets of the advertising and marketing industries. These creative individuals understand that well-designed and crafted advertisements and product packaging result in increased sales. Keep reading to learn more about the job of a commercial artist. Schools offering Design Strategy & Innovation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Commercial artists can work for advertising agencies, marketing groups, and manufacturers, or they may work as freelance designers. Television, film, and the Web also use the services of commercial artists to design computer animation for broadcast, film, or movie credits, websites, or Internet advertisements. Below are some of the areas in which commercial artists might work.

Important Facts About Commercial Artists

Work Environment Office setting
Key skills Artistic ability, creativity, multi-tasking, adaptability
Required Education Bachelor's degree
Similar Occupations Art director, interactive designer, marketing coordinator

Marketing Design

A commercial artist in marketing can be responsible for designing a variety of products, including displays, brochures, packaging, logos, and environmental graphics. Working on the marketing side of art and design involves taking into account both the market research concerning your target audience and the needs of your client. This may require you to meet with clients and understand their basic ideas before beginning or continuing a design. Using a sketchpad or a computer graphics program, you will develop designs for the project. You may also work with an art director. You'll continue working with your client through the completion of the project.

Publishing and Communications Design

Newspapers and magazines rely on qualified commercial artists or graphic designers to help with the electronic layout of the publication and to design print advertisements or marketing materials. In designing advertising copy, you will use a variety of graphics and colors to design an advertisement or other graphic that meets the specifications of the publication. For specific stories, you may be asked to design graphics or strategically place photographs. You could also be involved with the printing process, helping to decide paper grades or ink selection.

Advertising agencies also design a number of print advertisements for publications. As a commercial artist or graphic designer, you will work as part of a team of professionals in order to create a winning ad design. The team will present the advertisement to the client and ad representative, where changes will be suggested. When all changes are made and approved, the ad will be ready to be included in a print publication.

Training and Qualifications

Succeeding as a commercial artist takes both talent and training. Advertising, graphic design, or commercial art programs can be found at community colleges and four-year universities. Preliminary courses in drawing, typography, and graphic design prepare you for advanced courses in digital illustration, computer design, advertising design, multimedia design, and 2-D or 3-D design. Communication skills are important in this job, since your interaction with others is essential to the process.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not report information for commercial artists, but it does publish data for graphic designers as well as multimedia artists. The BLS expects that the employment of graphic designers will grow by an approximated seven percent, while employment of multimedia artists and animators will likely increase by about six percent during the same decade. According to Payscale.com, graphic designers in the commercial industry earned a median salary of $40,857 per year as of September 2015 (www.payscale.com).

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