Graphic production managers create artwork for clients.
A graphic production manager handles the artwork used to promote a company’s services and products. Graphic production managers work in a wide array of industries, from print to broadcasting to restaurants to advertising agencies. Some specialize in computer design, some in electronic design and some in ad design. Basically, anyone who needs artwork for her business relies on a graphic production manager to provide it. Oftentimes, a graphics manager must also hire and organize a staff.
Graphic production managers either create their own artwork, or try to build off an idea from a supervisor or client. Graphic designers rarely get their artwork perfect on the first attempt. Oftentimes, it needs proofing, tweaking and approval by superiors or clients before it gets used for distribution. Graphic designers who work in the commercial field create artwork for places such as restaurants, which may be seeking a new look for their menus, or soap manufacturers, which need designs for shampoo bottles and soap boxes. Meanwhile, designers employed by ad agencies often meet with customers that want their print ads or signs to look a certain way, then try to reproduce the idea. Finally, graphic designers in the electronic field tend to have more of a technical background, designing graphics for television stations, cable companies and websites.
A graphic production manager must be highly innovative and possess strong communication skills, since he is typically dealing with superiors, clients and others who assist with the design process. He should be organized, flexible and motivated, as well as informed of trends and what the competition is doing. Graphic production managers also need to be educated in computer programs, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, used for creating artwork.
Most companies seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree or certificate in graphic design when hiring a production manager. Areas of study typically include printing techniques, commercial graphics productions, computerized and website design, communications and business. That said, education isn’t always as important as a displayed ability to produce commercial artwork and a strong work ethic.
More than 286,000 workers were employed as graphic designers in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for designers were expected to grow 13 percent from 2008 to 2018, the BLS reported. That was about as fast as average for all occupations.
Graphic designers earned a median salary of anywhere from $25,000 to more than $57,000 in February 2010, according to PayScale.com. Much of those figures were based on the graphic designer’s experience, as well as the industry in which she worked. Meanwhile, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of graphic designers was $42,480 in May 2008.