Production ArtistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
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.
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.
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
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.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
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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