Commercial Advertising Design

Read about career opportunities in commercial advertising design, as well as how much you can earn in the field. Learn about the creative duties of commercial advertising professionals, and find information about certificate and degree programs in advertising and graphic design here.

Is Commercial Advertising Design for Me?

Career Overview

To be a commercial advertising design professional, you need to be a skilled communicator who can utilize a variety of media outlets to promote a product or service. You'll most likely work in the creative department as an assistant art director, art director or graphic designer.

As a graduate of an advertising program, you'll create a variety of promotional and marketing materials, like corporate logos, pamphlets, flyers and billboards. You might also design advertisements for publications, company documents, newspapers or catalogs.

Creative Duties

As an art director or assistant art director, you'll use traditional drawing and computer-based techniques to conceptualize ads and campaigns. Additionally, you'll oversee the work of other creative artists, as well as the overall look of the final project. As a graphic designer, you'll develop advertising layouts for print or online publications.

Career Options

With academic training in advertising design, you might find employment with an advertising agency or design company. You could also work in a production firm, retail store, industrial business or publication company.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2012-2022, employment of art directors was expected to increase 3%, while that of graphic designers was projected to grow 7%; these rates are considered to be slower than average when compared to all other occupations. The BLS also noted that art directors earned a median of $83,000 per year, while graphic designers made a median salary of $44,830 as of May 2013 (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Work in Commercial Advertising Design?

Educational Requirements

To enter an academic program in advertising design, you should possess good speaking and language skills and be knowledgeable about computers; some experience with design software can be helpful.

Entry-level positions in creative departments don't necessarily warrant a specific degree, but some formal education is desirable. However, if you're interested in becoming an assistant art director, you'll probably need a minimum of an associate degree in advertising or design. If you want to become an art director or graphic artist, you'll mostly likely need a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field of study. It's important to note that art directors usually have significant experience, along with postsecondary training.

Certificate and Associate Degree Programs

You can find undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs in advertising design at 2-year technical colleges. Undergraduate certificate programs might cover topics in visual communication, typography and business strategies. Associate degree programs in advertising typically provide training in graphic or print design. Course topics may include studies in electronic media, digital imaging, photography, sketching and art direction.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Baccalaureate programs are available through 4-year colleges. If you're interested in becoming a graphic artist, you can enroll in a bachelor's degree program in graphic design. Course topics might include marketing and promotions, color and design, animation, website design and moviemaking.

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