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
  • Desktop Publishing Certificate
  • Digital Rendering and Gaming Development Certificate
  • Illustration Certificate
  • Photography Certificate

 

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