Career Story: Graphic Artist At A Major Local Newspaper

Graphic Artist At A Major Local Newspaper

Job Title: Graphic Artist

Education: Bachelor's in Fine Arts (BFA) in 3-dimensional art, University of Texas, Arllington

Previous Experience: Newspaper artist; label-company paste-up artist; in-house advertising agency, major newspaper classified artist; pre-press production artist.

Job Tasks: I work for a major newspaper for a city over 500,000 population.

My job consists of designing and building retail newspaper ads for production in the daily newspaper, troubleshoot typing mistakes or incorrect information currently used in those ads, troubleshooting printing problems. For example, I work with the IT department to try to figure out reasons the ad won't print to in-house printers. If it doesn't print to the proofer (inside or department) printers, it will likely not print on the big newsprint presses that produce the final product - or the actual newspaper.

I create new and interesting designs by finding proper photographs (or setting up a photo shoot), artwork (available line and tone artwork), selecting the proper type styles and placement of those elements and choosing black and white or color. This all adds up to an eye-catching ad that may stand out within the groups of ads in a newspaper.

There are no administrative tasks are required in this job - it's strictly production work.

In a typical day I pick up jobs for ads currently needing work such as making corrections in typing or art (photos or line drawings), redesigning ads or creating new ads with art, type (text), placing items, typesetting, and/or troubleshooting.

No travel is required except to general administration meetings outside of the newspaper office.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Publishing companies are deadline oriented, creating frustrating and stressful situations when we are barely able to meet press deadlines - occasionally missing deadlines because of client or printing problems. However, that is part of the excitement of working in a deadline oriented business.

Boredom may set in when no work is available and the necessity of finding "busy-work" can be more stressful than meeting deadlines.

Job Tips:
1. Take graphics and art design classes in college. Web design classes, type design, and production will be helpful.

2. Even though newspapers are going to be non-existent in the near future, magazines, small neighborhoo newspapers, manuals, yearbooks, and network design will stay in vogue

3. A small, impact portfolio (copies of works previous printed or designed in school) is essential along with a resume.

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