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What is a Commercial Artist?

Commercial art - sometimes referred to as advertising art - is used to inform, promote, and sell goods and services by using visual images to communicate a message.

Commercial artists design this type of art for advertising and marketing industries in the form of advertisements, brochures, logos, product packaging, billboards, book covers, and other similar artwork.

What does a Commercial Artist do?

Commercial artists create well-designed and crafted advertisements and product packaging, resulting in increased sales for a variety of industries. They often meet with a client to get a general idea of a project concept and then work out the details independently. Part of this process involves helping the client determine the best designs based on the type of product or advertisement and the target customer base. They then create several drafts until the finished product is accepted; these drafts are either hand-drawn or computer-aided.

Commercial artists speak with their clients throughout the design process to keep them up-to-date with the project's direction, answer any questions, and receive input. They often create several versions of a finished project so that clients can choose their favourites.

Marketing Design

A commercial artist in marketing can be responsible for designing displays, brochures, packaging, logos, and environmental graphics. They need to take into account both the market research concerning the target audience, as well as the needs of the client. This may require meeting with the client and understanding their basic ideas before beginning the design process. They develop designs for the project by hand drawing a few sketches, or by using a computer graphics program. They may also work alongside an art director.

Publishing and Communications Design

A commercial artist in publishing and communications helps with the electronic layout of the publication and with designing print advertisements or marketing materials. In designing advertising copy, a variety of graphics and colours are used that meet the specifications of the publication. These artists are commonly involved with the printing process, helping to decide paper grades or ink selection.

Advertising agencies also design a number of print advertisements for publications, and commercial artists are asked to create winning ad designs. They will present the advertisement to the client and ad representative, and any changes will be made at that time. When all changes are made and approved, the ad will be ready to be included in a print publication.

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What is the workplace of a Commercial Artist like?

Commercial artists work in publishing, broadcasting, film, digital design, advertising and marketing. They are employed in a variety of places, such as advertising agencies, marketing groups, manufacturers, corporations, magazine publishing companies, newspapers, television and movie studios, graphic design consulting firms, and private freelance studios. Commercial artists typically work with other designers and advertising experts, whereas self-employed artists typically handle all aspects of a project themselves.

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Further Reading

  • Interview with Commercial Artist, Warner McGee www.pixelfondue.com

    With nearly 25 years’ experience as a commercial artist, chances are you’ve seen the works of Warner McGee. His striking character imagery, toy concepts and product visualization for clients such as Hasbro, Mattel, Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop are just a small sampling of this well accomplished artist.

  • What Does a Commercial Artist Do? www.wisegeek.com

    An artist is usually given a basic concept for a project and allowed to work out the details independently. He or she helps the client determine the best designs based on the type of product or advertisement and the target customer base.

  • Commercial Artist: Job Description & Career Information study.com

    Commercial artists use visual images to communicate a message. They work in manufacturing, for large corporations and for independent studios.

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Find your perfect career

Would you make a good commercial artist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
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Should I be a Commercial Artist?

Think you might be interested in becoming a Commercial Artist? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good Commercial Artist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education
  3. Get Hired
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