Graphic Designer

  • Graphic Designer

Across the full spectrum of the entertainment and media industries, there is a need for graphic designers to produce original art to be used for advertising, marketing, promotions, and PR materials. From movie posters to album covers and video game packaging to websites, striking visual collateral is essential to culling an audience.


The graphic designer typically works under the direct supervision of the art director, and is responsible for producing art assets and graphic page layouts according to design documentation and notes provided by the client. He or she will participate in concept meetings to understand the product or brand, and collaborate with the art director to come up with a design brief. Some research may be required before determining how to best visually represent a product, and the graphic designer is expected to work within given parameters, which could include mimicking an existing branding style, incorporating existing photos, or integrating required content like logos or specific wording. Working under strict deadlines, this person must deliver several comp versions of the design to the client, which will be reviewed and returned with notes for improvements. When a final design has been approved, the artist will produce refined samples for each medium (billboards, posters, etc.) that will then be reproduced for distribution. With one client satisfied, it’s on to the next project, and the design cycle repeats.

Skills & Education

Artistic talent is a necessity, as is skill in the use of design software like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Though finished products are delivered in digital format, the graphic designer is expected to be proficient in traditional art as well; drawing ability should be the core foundation of any graphic designer. A college degree in studio art or graphic design is highly recommended, as are courses in photography, art history, and advertising. Proficiency in web design or graphic design for online media is also a considerable asset. You must be capable of prioritizing multiple tasks, as numerous projects may be dumped in your lap at once. This career demands an individual who is highly organized, detail-oriented, and an excellent communicator.

What to Expect

There is tremendous freedom and variety in a career as a graphic designer; artists have the opportunity to work full-time or freelance, dabbling in film, television, music, games, and live entertainment. Permanent positions exist within advertising and public relations firms, or in-house at a production company, film studio, game developer, or record label. If there is a specific area of the entertainment industry that appeals to you, concentrate your job-hunting efforts on companies that service that sector. Many companies offer internships or entry-level positions in the art department that can lead to full-time employment as a graphic designer. Variety in your portfolio and the ability to work in multiple styles and genres will make you a more valuable asset. A graphic designer is expected to produce material to fit the changing needs of the client, not simply to serve his or her own artistic compulsions.


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