Production Artist Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

A production artist is responsible for designing, creating, and overseeing art projects for a variety of industries, including advertising, entertainment, and software design. They work closely with product managers to define design requirements and bring the project’s vision to fruition. They are involved with each step of the artistic and design process, such as reviewing graphics, layouts and fonts, finalizing designs, and fixing, improving, and editing design. They must be proficient in using image editing software, have an abundance of creativity, and have an eye for detail and accuracy. 

Production artists typically have good project management skills, a solid understanding of the printing process, and a high level of knowledge of design tools, such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress. They need a high understanding of Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other graphic design software and image editing tools. Production artists must have good time management skills to meet deadlines and excellent collaboration skills. 

Sample job description #1

The primary role of the Production Artist is to design new ads and to perform modifications as needed, electronically rework, assemble, create, and at times, build various print projects in accordance with client specifications. Must be creative and have the ability to multitask on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment. This includes, but is not limited to, data entry and type-setting, image manipulation, art creation or modification.

Key responsibilities

  • Create and produce page layouts that promote the client’s brand and sales objectives
  • Work with brand standards and guidelines
  • Collaborate with account manager and copywriters
  • Work with pagination and product mix to develop page layouts and final page production
  • Produce four-color and black and white page versions
  • Prepare final files for print and digital production
  • Work efficiently through high volumes, meeting tight deadlines within established budgets
  • Attend new project turnovers and weekly production meetings as part of client’s creative team
  • Propose creative concept elements for potential and new projects
  • Create layout comps, rough, and presentation materials as requested
  • Maintain accuracy in page building and error-free documents
  • Make corrections and modifications to Client proofs as requested
  • Prepare Client proofs for approval
  • Learn job tracking system and assist in managing projects
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform well and remain organized under tight deadlines
  • Assist in project and/or client customer needs
  • Act as liaison between Client and prepress
  • Assist in finding efficiencies for the department
  • Stay current on graphic trends through continued education, trade shows, seminars, special courses, etc.

Job requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design or related field
  • Experience Mac Operator
  • Appropriate education and/or experience may be substituted on an equivalent basis

Knowledge, skills & abilities

  • Knowledge of creating and working with templates and style sheets, including page formatting of copy, placing photos and artwork, as well as producing multiple versions
  • Proficiency in all Mac-based, industry-standard software programs including, but not limited to: Adobe Creative Cloud – InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, Microsoft Office, and Acrobat
  • Knowledge of the Windows platform
  • Experience with data-driven page production
  • Knowledge of all steps required for the print process and an understanding of production methods to ensure designs can be produced for print delivery
  • Network, Internet, Email communication systems
  • General understanding and knowledge of e-marketing vehicles and specifications
  • General advertising, marketing and media terminology and processes
  • Ability to speak, read, and write in the English language

Sample job description #2

ABC Company, a family-owned commercial sign company, is looking for a sign production artist. In this position, the candidate formulates concepts and oversees design and production of artwork to be used in the manufacture of signs in a rapidly growing sign company by performing the following duties.

Experience designing in the sign industry is mandatory for this position as the designer needs a knowledge of the substrates as well as various types of signs. Position also requires some project management and customer service responsibilities.

Candidate must be able to furnish a portfolio showing the types of signs they have designed in the past.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Confers with clients regarding budget, background information, objectives, presentation approaches, and selection of media
  • Read and interpret work orders, provide proofs as necessary for customer approval, and determine best output method
  • Design layouts and prepare designs for production
  • Inspect Jobs for accuracy prior to sending to production
  • Proofread and perform basic math; sign basics including design theory, typestyles, and color theory
  • Logo manipulations; scanning, editing, using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop
  • Image sourcing: locate stock photos, understand copyright laws, understand facility capabilities; understand resolution options and optimal enlargement sizes
  • Selects, supervises, and obtains cost estimates from outside vendors such as suppliers, or printers
  • Reviews quality of final product before release to client


  • Education and/or Experience – two to four years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience which includes the following skills:
  • Sign or large format printing background
  • Some production experience helpful
  • Ability to prepare art for print/production or manufacture
  • General knowledge of substrates & media
  • Familiar with the various fabrication methods for electrical and non-electrical signage, including ability to provide renderings for sign permits
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Mathematical Skills -Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals
  • Reasoning Ability -Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form
  • Computer Skills – To perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite Design software, particularly Illustrator and Photoshop

Sample job description #3

Production artist responsibilities:

  • Set up and order input of production files for various apparel print types
  • Adapt concept art to print ready files including correct file format, print size and location, ink type/print application, etc.
  • Ensure all concept art is executed at the highest quality in production by assisting communication of print and sourcing needs to various vendors
  • Assist Team Art Manager with any and all tasks related to operation of custom team art production

Production artist entry requirements:

  • Expert in-depth knowledge in Adobe Illustrator
  • Must be able to demonstrate complete high-level knowledge of clipping masks, layers, using multiple color swatch palettes, hand-drawing with the pen tool, re-creating low-res logos to vector images, etc.)
  • Strong attention to detail with a demonstrated drive for perfection
  • Experience and understanding of screen print process is preferred
  • Strong organizational skills, keen eye for detail, and ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • Thrives working in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a production artist is $56,750 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$56,450$76,350
Los Angeles, California$63,650$86,150
Denver, Colorado$53,050$71,800
Washington, DC$64,650$87,450
Miami, Florida$52,800$71,450
Orlando, Florida$48,700$65,900
Tampa, Florida$49,200$66,550
Atlanta, Georgia$51,600$69,850
Chicago, Illinois$59,350$80,250
Boston, Massachusetts$64,150$86,800
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$51,150$69,200
New York City, New York$67,550$91,350
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$55,000$74,400
Dallas, Texas$53,550$72,450
Houston, Texas$53,050$71,800
Seattle, Washington$61,750$83,550
National Average$48,250$65,250

Sample interview questions

  • What software programs are you familiar with?
  • Are you comfortable working with text and other media?
  • Can you work independently or do you require supervision?
  • Are you able to meet deadlines? 
  • What are some of your achievements in past positions?
  • How would you respond to criticism of your work?
  • Do you have any concerns about this position or working for this company? Why?
  • What are your long-term career goals, and how will this job help you meet them?
  • What is your availability and how many hours can you work per week?
  • How do you prefer to be managed – i.e., what kind of supervision works best for you?
  • How do you deal with deadlines and stressful situations, both as an individual and as a team member?

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