A graphic artist designs visual presentations of a wide variety, including advertisements, brochures, screen-printed tees, logos, signs, product illustrations, websites and more. A graphic artist works alone or with a group of illustrators, photographers and writers to meet the design demands of clients from all fields. The artist determines the size and arrangement of visual elements to facilitate communication between the client and a target audience.
As graphic design is considered a young and rapidly evolving field, conventional qualifications like a college degree and years of experience are often less vital to prospective employers than the quality of an individual's work. Graphic artists in the job market are expected to maintain a portfolio of recent work that best represents their aesthetics and technical ability. Being computer-savvy is a necessity for graphic artists in the modern marketplace. Expert knowledge of design applications like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are considered standard in the industry. A benefit of formal education in graphic design is the provision of time and resources to develop such specialized skills and a portfolio that represents the artist well after graduation.
No single work scenario can be considered typical of most graphic artists. Many graphic artists seek work from traditional firms in fields like advertising, journalism or entertainment. Many more work for real estate agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, and other seemingly unrelated entities, proving that nearly all industries can benefit from a strong visual presence. Quite a few more work as freelancers, connecting with clients on an individual basis. Freelancing offers tremendous flexibility and variety, but usually at the cost of stability.
Graphic Artist Tasks
- Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and select style and size of type.
- Use computer software to generate new images.
- Develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and internet websites.
- Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout design.