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Difference Between Layout Artist & Graphic Designer

Layout artists and graphic designers work together to create a visual piece that can be used in media. Here you will find information on each career option, along with an explanation of how they are similar and different.

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Comparing Layout Artist to Graphic Designer

A layout artist is a type of graphic designer that focuses entirely on how the layout of a website, magazine, or other printed media looks. Graphic designers in general produce designs that are used in the magazines, brochures, and websites. Learn the unique roles these design careers play in creating pieces used in print and digital media.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary Job Growth (2014-2024)
Layout Artist Associate's or bachelor's degree $42,000 (2017)** 1% (All graphic designers)*
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree $47,640 (2016)* 1% (All graphic designers)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

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Responsibilities of Layout Artists vs Graphic Designers

Graphic designers use computer software to develop a design or advertisement for a client that can be used in a variety of media to help communicate different ideas. Some graphic designers choose a specific area to work in, including those who wish to become layout artists. Layout artists devote their time to ensuring that the entire layout of the design flows and looks nice. These two professions work very closely together to create a final product for clients.

Layout Artist

Layout artists work with other team members to create a layout that will be used for a client. They must have good communication skills as they participate in meetings and work closely with other graphic designers to create a quality product. When developing the layout, artists typically work independently in an office type setting. Artists must be creative in their layout and make it visually appealing to viewers.

Job responsibilities of a layout artist include:

  • Sketching layout designs and producing them digitally
  • Balancing the location of text and images
  • Choosing the right color combinations
  • Revising or updating layouts

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers develop ideas that will inspire and inform readers. They must be able to work well with others to discuss what needs to be included in the design as well as communicate any need for adjustments to the designs created. Graphic designers must have exceptional artistic abilities to create designs that will catch a viewer's attention and appeal to different clients. Graphic designers usually have a full schedule and must keep on track with projects, so they must have good time-management skills. Clients typically explain what they want to show to viewers, and graphic designers must be able to understand what they are looking for and produce a graphic based off of the information the client gives.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Developing visual elements to a layout
  • Using photo-editing software
  • Creating logos and illustrations to market products or businesses
  • Presenting designs to clients

Related Careers

Those wanting a career as a layout artist might also be interested in becoming an editor, as they both share an interest in finalizing a product to ensure it looks good. A career as an art director might fit those interested in graphic design, as both occupations create visual images, though an art director typically oversees graphic designers.

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