Digital Artist Vs Graphic Designer

Digital artists and graphic designers both use their artistic abilities to portray ideas though art. Learn more about how these two occupations are similar and different.

Comparing Digital Artists to Graphic Designers

Digital artists design the graphics and animation for film, television, and video games. Graphic designers develop the layouts and designs used to share ideas found in printed material and on websites. These creative career options vary in their job responsibilities, but they also have some similarities.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016) Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Digital Artist (All Multimedia Artists and Animators) Bachelor's degree $65,300 6%
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree $47,640 1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Digital Artists vs Graphic Designers

Digital artists and graphic designers both need to be creative and have excellent artistic abilities. They also both typically create their designs on the computer, so they must be familiar with different computer programs and design software. The results of their designs differ greatly, as digital artists use their designs in digital media, whereas graphic designers produce images to use in other types of media, such as magazines, brochures, and websites. Both occupations rely on feedback from clients and supervisors to ensure their designs fit the project and are done correctly.

Digital Artist

Digital artists create designs as well as animations that are found in digital formats, such as on television shows or in movies and video games. Many digital artists specialize in a certain area, which may include creating backgrounds, visual effects, and character creation. Digital artists communicate frequently with a team of directors and other artists, so they must have good communication skills. They also have deadlines for the projects they are working on, so they must have excellent time-management skills to ensure the project is done properly and on time. Most of the work digital artists do is completed in an office setting and typically follows normal work schedules, unless a deadline is approaching and the project needs to be finished soon.

Job responsibilities of a digital artist include:

  • Creating storyboards
  • Editing designs and animations
  • Attending meetings with clients and other staff
  • Researching information for projects

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers develop ideas for clients that are used on websites or printed in magazines, brochures, and advertisements. These professionals help organizations market products or generate interest in a concept through the designs they create. They must be able to create graphics that directly reflect the ideas that a client wants portrayed. Graphic designers typically work on more than one project at a time, so they must have good organizational and time-management skills. Graphic designers have the opportunity to advance to a supervisory position or become an art director with experience.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Creating logos
  • Designing layouts
  • Presenting designs
  • Reviewing designs before printing

Related Careers

Those interested in a career as a digital artist might be interested in working as a web developer, where they would be still working and creating on a computer, but for websites rather than multimedia productions. Graphic designers might also be interested in a career as a desktop publisher, which focuses on creating layouts for printed material.

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