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Graphic Designer Vs Graphic Artist

Graphic designers and graphic artists are professional artists who use computers to help them create their visions, but each has a different purpose. This article gives information about these two careers and some other vital info.

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Comparing Graphic Designers to Graphic Artist

Graphic designers are not the same as graphic artists. Both create visuals that move people and make them react, and both utilize computer-aided graphics software. However, graphic artists work to entertain audiences in the realm of animation and film, while graphic designers work for organizations to help advertise and market products, services, and even a company's public image. Below, the two computer-based arts careers are compared in detail.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary* (2016) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree $47,640 (for all graphic designers) 1% (for all graphic designers)
Graphic Artist Bachelor's degree $65,300 (for all multimedia artists & animators) 6% (for all multimedia artists & animators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Graphic Designers vs. Graphic Artists

Graphic designers plan and execute visual projects for corporate or private clients. Designers may be members of a creative team that will collaborate on goals to sell a product or promote a campaign. Graphic designers take a client's vision and work with a variety of digital art programs to bring it to life. Client needs stretch across a variety of arenas, from business reports to marketing logos. Graphic artists use similar digital art programs, but their efforts are in support of animated web sites, video games, and feature films. Graphic artists may specialize as animators for animated movies or digital effects artists for television or film. Graphic artists create storyboards, design characters, and aim to entertain and delight audiences across platforms and genres. They work under the direction of an art director to determine the artistic vision of a particular project.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers work with programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create sketch art, multimedia and video products. They use their skills to create designs that capture a client's or company's message and bring about an emotional response in the targeted consumer. They work with different mediums, including illustration, film and digital photography. The outcome could be a label for a product, a poster for a political campaign, or the entire brand for an organization. Graphic designers also create logos, magazine layouts, posters and promotional video animations.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Use digital software and other computer materials
  • Meet clients and listen closely to their needs
  • Create layouts and designs for companies
  • Meet regularly with a team to analyze preliminary results
  • Review and revise projects before publication or launch

Graphic Artist

Graphic artists work in fields like film and internet entertainment; they may also design animation for interactive web pages. These artists are normally responsible for using imagination and creative skill to come up with visual designs, effects, and animated sequences for diverse entertainment media. Many of these artists work and collaborate with a team to brainstorm ideas, develop storyboards and sketches, and create seamless animations using digital graphics and animation software. Whether film, television, or video games, these artists use their talents to create something that moves and entertains a viewer.

Job responsibilities of a graphic artist include:

  • Collaborate with directors, writers and videographers
  • Create animated sequences and effects for a variety of mediums
  • Meet clients or artistic teams to discuss ideas
  • Research a project to brainstorm ideas
  • Be proficient with current animation, graphic arts, and film editing software

Related Careers

There are other available career fields related to graphic design. Industrial designers, for instance, collaborate with engineers to design actual products (rather than advertisements) for companies or organizations. Graphic artists may enjoy working as film editors, since both work to entertain audiences; film editors are artists who cut, organize, and layer video, animation, and audio to create a polished animation or film.

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