Graphic Production Artist
Graphic production artist is a technical job title in the creative industry which includes advertising, film, video and photography, computer games, print and electronic publishing. The department that handles graphic design works in two different areas, creation and production. A graphic designer conveys the idea presented by the client with visual effects to create the desired product, while a graphic production artist uses technical and computer skills to meet the client's expectation.
Educational qualifications for a graphic production artist
To become a graphic production artist, it is essential to have a basic understanding in graphic design. Applicants can earn an diploma or bachelor's degree in graphic design. The minimum educational requirement for these courses is usually the higher senior secondary school certificate exam. Diploma courses cover basic principles of graphic design and technical execution of designs. Degree courses can be more useful, as they may help candidates to improve more specialised technical skills along with concepts in graphic design.
Skills required by a production artist
As a graphic production artist, your work would involve extensive use of various software tools to create graphic images ready for commercial printing and publishing. Proficiency in graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop or QuarkXPress (image editing), Adobe Illustrator (drawing), InDesign (page layout) and Adobe Acrobat (PDF editing) is very important. Daily work may involve preflighting, resizing, checking the color mode and resolution of images and modifying images to improve quality of production. Technology and software used in the graphics industry changes and upgrades to newer versions rapidly. Therefore, it is important for a graphic production artist to stay abreast of the latest technology and industry trends.
Internships may prove useful as they can give you on-the job experience and insight into the workings of the industry. Some colleges may require internship experience as a credit requirement of the degree programme. You may get an edge over other applicants by exploring certification courses in graphic software applications. Though certification is not always required, it can communicate to prospective employers your area of expertise. For example, certification as an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop or other specialized software can demonstrate proficiency with such products. To become an ACE, you need to pass the required exams. The ability to work in a team and under pressure are equally important traits in this career.
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Career prospects for graphic production artists
Graphic production artists, sometimes referred to as production artists or print production artists, are required to work with specialized computer software to develop an end product. They should have an understanding of size, color and layout and should be able to work closely with a designer, take instructions and create a final layout. The work may not give you enough room for creativity since that part will be taken care of by designers, but typically production artists are the last to work on a file before publication. In other words, you would be required to work in predetermined formats and under guidelines to review final layouts for accuracy. A production artist may be required to work under tight deadlines and troubleshoot website issues.
A production artist may be employed by:
- Advertising agencies
- In-house art departments
- Corporate houses operating in printing and publishing
- Film industry
- Web design companies
Production artists used to be exclusive to print media, but now they are also required in advertising, the fashion industry and electronic media.
Employment and salary outlook
Most firms employ professionals with at least one year of experience. Therefore, candidates with no experience could be employed initially as assistants. With ample experience, entry-level candidates can move up the career path as production artists or art directors.
The average salary for a fresh graduate could be anywhere between 1.6 lakh and 2.5 lakh rupees, according to PayScale.com. With additional experience, a higher salary may be possible.
"Become an Adobe Certified Expert," Adobe Systems Incorporated, http://training.adobe.com/certification/overview.html
"Graduate Diploma Programme in Design," National Institute of Design, http://www.nid.edu/education/graduate-diploma-programme-in-design/graphic-design/p-overview
"Media & Entertainment," IBEF, http://www.ibef.org/PrintThisArticle.aspx?artid=25173&pgno=1&totalpage=3
"Production Artist (Graphic Arts) Salary," http://www.payscale.com/research/IN/Job=Production_Artist_(Graphic_Arts)/Salary