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How to Become a Production Artist

Is your expertise in visual media and graphic design matched only by your tireless work ethic? A role as a production artist may be the detail-oriented position that’s right for you.

Production artists format, render and edit creative collateral for brochures, out-of-home and on-property signage, video, print, social media, billboards, and more. The workhorses of the creative team, production artists collaborate with the art director and graphic designers to bring creative campaigns to life.

A production artist must pay attention to every detail to ensure quality standards while producing at a fast pace on a tight schedule. Mastery of creative and technical design tools is essential.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking to hire an experienced production artist! The production artist is responsible for creating and editing graphics and images for a variety of media, including the internet, print, and television. They may be required to work with text, create logos, and develop layout designs. The production artist must be able to meet tight deadlines and work well under pressure. Excellent computer skills are essential. Knowledge of relevant software applications is necessary, including Photoshop and Illustrator. The production artist must also have a working knowledge of HTML and Dreamweaver.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Work closely with art directors, graphic designers, and web developers
  • Prep final files to supply specifications for various print and digital formats
  • Reformat supplied artwork and photos to project specifications
  • Create PDFs for creative and client review
  • Retouch, clip paths, and make adjustments to image files
  • Collect and store final artwork for potential use in future campaigns
  • Produce content on tight deadlines

Education and experience

The position requires a bachelor’s degree in fine art, digital media, graphic design, or a similar field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Keen attention to detail
  • Strong typesetting, layout, photo editing, and color editing skills
  • Proficiency using design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Knowledge of web development languages like JavaScript and HTML
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years of experience
  • Strong graphic design skills
  • Knack for design and art
  • Team player

Typical work environment

The work of a production artist is typically done in an office setting, although there may be some travel involved.

Typical hours

The work hours for a production artist are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Available certifications

There are no specific certifications available for production artists. However, many production artists are certified in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Career path

The journey to starting a career in production art often begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in fine art, digital media, or a similar field. Some colleges and universities offer certification programs specializing in skills crucial for any production artists. These courses might include focuses in digital imagining, typography, web publishing, and more.

Regardless of education, production artist candidates must be highly skilled using professional design programs. A strong portfolio of work and extensive on-the-job experience can get an exceptional production artist candidate hired without a college degree.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-1011

2020 Employment98,500
Projected Employment in 2030109,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift10,800 increase

The line between graphic designers’ and production artists’ daily responsibilities will continue to blur as creative teams become more nimble in the digital age. Production artists will keep adding new tools and expertise to their skillsets — such as interactive video and mixed-media platforms — as well as stretching their conceptual and creative muscles.