College Resources

Career Tracks: Commercial Art

Career opportunities are available in advertising agencies, commercial printing businesses, newspapers, fabric printing businesses, publishing companies, photography studios and various business and industry graphic design departments.
 

Duties:

Graduates in this field may be required to:

  • Layout and design of requested items such as:

    Business cards

    Service manuals

    Brochures

    Invitations

    Menus

    Flyers

    Letters/envelopes

     Programs

    Business forms

    Posters

    Catalogs

    Calendars

    Technical manuals

         Design web sites

  • Touch-up and manipulation of requested items such as:

          Photographs

          Scanned line art/drawings

          Scanned paintings

          Scanned renderings

  • Scheduling of items to be printed

  • Working with clients to determine layout, color choices, etc.

  • Quoting print jobs

  • Operation of desktop publishing hardware and software, and peripherals
    such as laser printers, image setters, color proofers, scanners (drum and/or
    flatbed), digital cameras, graphics tablets, etc.

  • Digital rendering and gaming development

Working Conditions

Graduates in this field commonly experience:

  • Clean; air conditioned (usually)

  • Office/computer room/art department environment/darkroom

  • May work alone or with others

  • May perform a variety of duties

  • May work with clients one-on-one or in a group setting

  • May work under direct supervision

  • Work under stress to meet deadlines

  • Overtime sometimes required

  • May be expected to proof own work carefully to avoid mistakes

  • Some outside work may be required (photo shoots, etc.)
     

Physical Demands

  • Great deal of sitting (in computer rooms/offices/art department)

  • Very active

  • Focused on computer screen for a good portion of the day

  • Movement back and forth between computer and paste-up, light
    and cutting tables

  • Movement in order to get certain angles in photo shoots
     

Characteristics & Temperament

Graduates in this field should have:

  • Ability to work with things

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Good communication skills

  • Good proofing/editing skills/spelling

  • An “eye” for good design

  • Ability to work with different types of people

  • Ability to work with numbers (measuring skills for layout)

  • Preciseness, attention to detail

  • Good organizational skills

  • Good memory skills

  • Ability to “catch on” quickly

  • Fair motor movement (hand/eye coordination/manual dexterity)

  • Self-discipline/self-motivation

  • Ability to make generalizations, evaluations, decisions based on verifiable data

  • Patience
     

Employment Outlook

Graduates in this field can expect the following developments:

  • increased pay and advancement possible with experience and further education
  • employment in cities and towns of all sizes

  • freelance work is a huge opportunity
  • possible entry level positions: layout assistant, typesetter, customer service, administrative assistant, photography assistant, graphic arts assistant, designer
     

Employers

Recent graduates have found work at:

Program & Course Information

Piedmont Technical College offers the following programs related to this career field:

  • Advertising Design Certificate

  • Photography Certificate