Print Advertising Design Career Information

The title of print advertising designer typically refers to graphic design professionals who use text, symbols and images to convey messages to consumers and readers. Read on for more information about career details and outlook, education requirements and potential salaries for designers who specialize in print advertising.

Career Definition for a Print Advertising Designer

Graphic designers who specialize in print advertising develop the layouts and select the type for ads, books, publications and reports. Their creative responsibilities typically include choosing font colors and sizes and determining the placement of images and texts. In addition to an understanding of art and design concepts, designers must also know how to work with current computer software programs, such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. In addition to advertising art directors, print advertising designers may work in concert with other marketing and public relations professionals.

Education Bachelor's degree may be required
Job Skills Artistic, creative, detail oriented, interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2017) $48,700 (all graphic designers)*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 4% (all graphic designers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree in graphic design or another relevant field of study is usually required to obtain entry-level employment in graphic or print advertising design. Coursework typically includes training in digital and website design, commercial art, printing technology and studio art. Classes in business, copywriting and marketing may also be helpful. Continuing education and training in the use of specific software programs can be found through the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Graphic Arts Guild or individual product vendors (www.bls.gov).

Skills Required

In general, print advertising designers need to be creative and computer literate and have good communication skills. An understanding of the consumer point-of-view, as well as critical-thinking and time-management skills, is also required.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, 4% growth in jobs is expected for graphic designers nationwide between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also reported that graphic designers earned a median annual wage of $48,700 in May 2017 (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Related occupation fields that involve graphic design and advertising include art directing and desktop publishing.

Art Director

Art directors who specialize in advertising or publishing design the layouts and looks of advertising campaigns and printed publications, such as catalogs, daily newspapers and magazines. A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in a relevant field of study, as well as approximately five years of professional experience, is the usual requirement for obtaining a position. With 5% growth expected, the employment outlook for art directors across the country is projected to be about average from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. The BLS also reports that, as of May 2017, art directors received a median yearly salary of $92,500 (www.bls.gov).

Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers are responsible for collecting and formatting images and text for print and online publications. Knowledge of computer software, such as Adobe InDesign, is key, which can be acquired through associate degree or non-degree programs, as well as on the job. As graphic and Web designers assume more of their responsibilities, job opportunities for desktop publishers across the country are projected to decrease by 14% from 2016-2026, as reported by the BLS. In May 2017, desktop publishers earned a median annual wage of $42,350, also according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).


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