Visual communications careers are focused in communicating to a selected audiemnce by means of visual graphics, video, designs, copy, graphs, animation, motion graphics and web and mobile design. Because of the wide nature of career options, most peolpe specialize in an area and choose to master certain aspects of visual communications. All careers that involve technology such as web designer or software engineer, need to become continuous learners to stay competitive and increase the effectiveness of visual communications.
Career Paths for Visual Communications
- Freelance Designer: A frelance deisnger is a self-employed design professional who works independently of a company. They bid on projects, find thier own clients, work on a number of different projects at once and can specialize in a specific niche or industry of design such as posters, logos, branding or packaging.
- Junior Designer: A junior designer iis normally a recent graduate from design school that will assist senior desingers by replicating projects, assisting on photo shoots and working on smaller projects that help hone thier design skills and speed of project completion. Junior desingers could work on banners, posters, magazine covers, web ads, asset optimization, corrections and updates to out of date art.
- Print Production Artist: A print production artist has working knowledge of layout, typography and color theory. They take instructions from designers to create a complete layout and work proficiently in grphic design software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. They are responsible for producing the final print files for the print production process.
- Digital Designer: A digital designer creates logos, websites, newsletters, animations and collaborates with liilustors, marketers, sound engineers, photographers, filmmakers and company executives. They could also work on video games, special effects and virtual reality applications for mobile applications.
- Presentation Designer: A presentation designer assist in the design and production of digital and printed presentations used as collateral to support client communications, sales efforts and training programs. Knowledge of software such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Illustrator, Word, Excel, MSGraph and Photoshop are often desired. Must be able to coordinate and organize content in a stylized and well-organized manner.
- Copywriter: A copywriter is able to write, edit, proof copy usde for publicity, product packagin, slogans, web content or stories and scripts the tell a story about a product or service. At high levels, copywriters are often responsible for strategic and conceptual development of the entire message clients are trying to tell their customers.
- Print Production Manager: The print prodction manager is responsible for managing production of publications including; bids, scheduling, production and delivery. They manage the print production from concept to completion including photography, separations, color press work, digital printing and priduction. Print production managers need strong project management skills as they may have several projects being printed at once. Knowledge of design software such as InDeisgn, Quark, Photoshop and Illustrator is desirable in the career.
- Art Director: The art director decides on the conceptual and stylistic direction for the design staff and orchestrates their design and production as well as the work of produciton artists, photographers, illustrators, prepress technicians, digital artists, copywriters and anyone else involved in the creative aspects of the project. The art director selects vendors and if their is no creative director on staff, then art directors usually have final creative authority.
- Creative Dirtector: A creative director or design director is the creative director of a design firm, advertising agency or in-house corporate design team. They are responsible for all the development of graphic design, advertising, web design, communications, copywriting, art direction and print and online publications.
- Senior Designer: The senior desinger is responsible for conceptualizing and design from concept to completetion. In some firms, a senior desinger will direct the work of several junior designers who create comps, storyboards, layouts and final art. In other cases, senior desingers may not manage staff but have authority in design related decision-making.
- New Business Manager or Director / Marketing: The new business manager is responsible for the development of new business accounts for which increased revenues/profits will be realized, while upholding the mission and values of the agency.
- Web Developer (front-end, interface user design): The front-end web developer builds engaging experiences, compelling interactive networks and content-driven digital solutions. The front-end developer is also responsible for modifying and testing programs in the development environment, troubleshooting issues reported in the production environment, and works closely with account teams, technical architects, designers and production staff to architect web solutions.
- Web Programmer (back end systems): A back end programmer works with web server systems and web databases, develops web queries to databases and prigrams web applications. They are often knowledgeable of several programming languages such as PHP, Drupal, Joomla, Ruby on Rails, etc.