Graphic Designer Vs Stage Designer

Design work in graphics and stage have many similarities and a few differences. Designers create visuals based on ideas and collaboration as their work. This article gives details on the differences and the job responsibilities between graphic and stage designers.

Comparing Graphic Designers to Stage Designers

Both graphic designers and stage designers are creative artists on different scales. Graphic designers create visuals by hand or use computer programs. Stage designers work mainly in the theater or film creating the sets as envisioned by the writer and director. Below are some comparisons of these two careers and some key education, salary and job projection information.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Graphic Designer Bachelor's Degree $47,640 1%
Stage Designer Bachelor's Degree $50,990 (for all set and exhibit designers) 7% (for all set and exhibit designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Graphic Designers vs. Stage Designers

Graphic designers work for others creating visuals for a variety of products, magazines, layouts or advertising mediums. These artists may work freehand or with design software programs. Stage designers collaborate with playwrights and/or directors to create sets for stage productions. They might also work on pageants, operas or television and films.

Graphic Designers

The experts in graphic design work to captivate customers or get people to take some type of action based on their work. They might create an overall design using art or animation in the creation of a logo, advertising billboard or any other type of visual. These experts earn bachelor's degrees in graphic design or a related field. They utilize their knowledge to create overall layouts for magazines, brochures or corporate reports complete with choosing text, font, headers, and highlights.

Job responsibilities of a Graphic Designer include:

  • Meet with clients and/or art directors
  • Utilize photo-editing or layout software and/or digital illustrations in their designs
  • Make preliminary presentations of work
  • Examine team designs for errors
  • Review with client or art director for changes

Stage Designers

Stage designers may work somewhat like graphic designers in that they may draw or utilize technology to put together their ideas. They work closely with a team including directors, producers and even the playwright on style, type and vision to create a set that meets theme and plot. Stage designers usually have a bachelor's degree and experience with computer-aided design software, set production, and visual design.

Job responsibilities of a Stage Designer include:

  • Collaborate with director and producer on stage set drafts following script notes
  • Create early drafts using computer graphics or freehand designs
  • Work with production director and set crew
  • Check in with director throughout process
  • Oversee completion of stage set production

Related Careers

Graphic designers and stage designers use their creative skills in numerous settings. The same can be said for related careers like art directors or interior designers. Art directors create visuals for shows, museums, magazines and advertising companies. Interior designers take their training in commercial and business design and come up with appropriate furniture, flooring, wall settings and related decorative areas.

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