Career Story: Graphic Designer For A Print Magazine

Graphic Designer For A Print Magazine

Job Title: Graphic Designer

Education: Associates in Marketing Arts & Design, Middlesex County College, NJ

Previous Experience: I worked part time for a chiropractor's office as a doctor's assistant and billing clerk. I worked here while attending school.

Job Tasks: My company is a direct mail, coupon magazine with local businesses as our advertisers. Our magazines are directly mailed through the post office to homes in the area that each magazine is dedicated to.

I am a print graphic designer, working under an art director. I design the advertisements for printing, create the layout of the magazines and check and proofread advertisements prior to publishing. I also communicate with our company's sales representatives and clients in order to establish proper advertising methods that will target the client's audience.

Daily tasks include digitally editing photos, artwork and files, organizing the photography library, proofreading, graphic design, layout and filing.

The process of creating a magazine is done over time. Our sales representatives give us a basic layout of what our client is looking for. I then create a full page flyer or advertisment that will effectively communicate their ideas to the public, using design programs on a Macintosh computer. I add stock photographs or include photos provided by the client, along with logos and other graphics. On occasion, I create logos when none have been provided by the client. The ads are built for each customer. Our graphics department receives instructions and a layout from our sales manager regarding the order in which to build our magazine pages.

I then use QuarkXpress program to create a multipage book and I insert the previously created ads into the blank pages. Each page is checked for colors, missing components and to see that all ads are current and expirations on coupons are not outdated prior to printing. The book is then double checked, created and put on a CD. I then mail the completed book on CD to our printer using FedEx.

I also design ads and marketing documents for our own company as well.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is creating beautiful ads that will help local businesses grow. The worst part is when you have a client who insists upon advertising an idea that is detremental to their business and they won't allow you to change it.

Job Tips:
1. Learn how to use as many digital imaging programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Quark. Each business uses different software and if you don't know the basics, you will not land the job.

2. Establish a great portfolio of your works.

3. Get a four year bachelor's degree, not a two year degree, to be successful in the commercial design field.

Additional Thoughts: If you are a print artist like myself, look into learning how to do web design. Most companies today are looking for someone who knows print and web (although the designing methods are very different). It will give you more of a chance of landing that job.

Supplement yourself with a backup career as graphic design is a very competitive industry. I am also a freelance photographer and can support myself if I was to lose my full time job to a better artist.

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