What Does a Graphic Artist Do?

Every brand identity and logo, every product label, and every magazine and webpage that you see around you was designed by a graphic designer. If you have ever wondered, “what does a graphic artist do?” you will soon begin to see that the layout of every product package and each corporate brochure that you have ever seen was most likely done by a graphic artist, or a team of graphic artists working together.


Everything including the placement of images, choices of colors, styles, lettering sizes and fonts, and all the various elements of design of virtually everything that you see in print, from advertisements to book covers to magazines to billboards, all come from one or a team of graphic artists who work with writers, photographers, editors, and directors or producers to create an appealing visual style of the final result from the collaborative effort.


What Tools and Training Does a Graphic Artist Need?

A graphic artist typically works with things that often involve some combination of classic artistic tools and modern computer technology. The work of a graphic artist blends artistic skills and sensibilities with the technical abilities of a designer or even an engineer, which is why the terms graphic artist and graphic designer are usually used to mean the same thing. A person trained as a graphic artist learns essential parts of the visual arts like color scales and values, theory and practice of visual representation, plus relevant parts of computer technology like photo editing and graphics programs.


Where Does a Graphic Artist Work?


Some graphic artists work in advertising firms, many are self-employed and work for different clients on various projects, and some graphic artists work for companies like news stations, book or magazine publishers, or other corporate clients. Many graphic designers specialize in a certain type of graphic work particularly. Graphic art specialties layout, image design, colors, or typography design.


Graphic artists usually keep a volume of samples of their work, called a portfolio. Whether presented online on the graphic designer’s website or in physical form as a brochure or bound volume, the portfolio shows the style and variety of the designer’s work over a lot of different projects and ideally throughout many years of experience. Clients who are looking for a unique feel or a particular style can get a sense from a portfolio whether the work that this designer will do is likely to be the type that the client wants to be done.


Variety of Styles


Many graphic artists work in a wide range of styles. Partly this is because they are creative artists, and enjoy the challenge of creating new combinations of images or type styles and partly because different clients ask for work that is different from work that the designer has done before.

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Continuing to Learn


Part of the work of a graphic designer may involve continuing to learn and advance her understanding and skills in using computer design tools. As computer technology and programs change and progress, ongoing experience and training will help to keep a graphic artist at the forefront of his career.