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Layout Artist Vs Graphic Designer

Graphic designers and layout artists work together to fulfill design ideas, but each plays a specific role. Here is a comparison of these two careers, including areas of overlap between them.

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Comparing Layout Artists to Graphic Designers

Layout artists determine how pages in a magazine are set up or how scenes and stories get laid out in a film. Graphic designers create an overall design of a product, usually to communicate a message to an audience or consumer. Below is a comparison of a layout artist to a graphic designer with education and salary information.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary Job Growth (2014-2024)
Layout Artist Associate's or Bachelor's degree $42,000* (2017) -21%** (for all desktop publishers)
Graphic Designers Bachelor's degree $47,640** (2016) 1%**

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

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Responsibilities of Layout Artists vs. Graphic Designers

The work of layout artists and graphic designers overlap, although there are differences between the responsibilities of each. Working with graphic designers, a layout artist's main concern is the order and physical relationship of images and text. Graphic designers work with art directors and create the overall design envisioned by clients. While both usually study graphic design, layout artists put together visually pleasing pages and scenes, while graphic designers create the design used in those layouts or scenes.

Layout Artists

Layout artists are commonly found working in publications or in animation. They need to have a strong artistic sense and expert computer skills. These artists are expected to work with freehand art as well as the production of storyboards and work with 3D graphic and layout software. Layout artists must have a good eye for organization of color, text, and images.

Job responsibilities of a Layout Artist include:

  • Utilizing design software and other digital mediums
  • Meeting with a creative team and pitching ideas
  • Creating the layout of reports, pages or websites
  • Regularly updating changes to layouts
  • Working with other specialized graphic designers

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers visualize art concepts and run teams to actualize their artistic vision. Their work might include illustrations, video or animation, with the goal of creating an emotional reaction. Their overall design is meant to communicate, advertise or persuade the viewer. Graphic designers create signage, logos and branding designs with text and images using computer software.

Job responsibilities of a Graphic Designer include:

  • Attending planning meetings with clients
  • Conducting research to formulate ideas
  • Working closely to guide other graphic artists or photographers
  • Creating design themes to pitch to clients
  • Monitoring for editing changes

Related Careers

There are many related career fields to graphic designers and layout artists. Web developers create, design and monitor web sites for clients, while commercial art directors work to create visuals for the marketing of products.

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