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Commercial & Advertising Art

CIP Code 50.0402

Graphic designers (graphic artists) plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications problems. They use a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various print and layout techniques. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications. They also produce promotional displays, marketing brochures for products and services, distinctive logos for products and businesses, and signage systems – called environmental graphics – for business and government. An increasing number of graphic designers also develop material for Internet web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects. Graphic designers also may produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies.

Multimedia artists, animators, illustrators, and animation directors may create and design two and three dimensional images, create storyboards by editing animation imagery, produce backgrounds for multimedia campaigns, and develop designs and illustrations for television, product labels, cartons, promotional products, technical manuals, and mailings.

Commercial and industrial designers may modify, refine, and design home appliances, automobiles and children’s toys. They consult with individuals from engineering, marketing, and sales departments of production firms in order to complete their work. Frequently, they may be requested to evaluate the predicted success of their design ideas, by examining factors such as appearance, market demands, consumer expectations, and functionality.

Working conditions and places of employment vary. Graphic designers employed by large advertising, publishing, or design firms generally work regular hours in well lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms and those who freelance generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients’ schedules and deadlines. Consultants and self employed designers tend to work longer hours in smaller, more congested, environments.

A bachelor or an associate degree in graphic design is usually required for a job as a graphic designer. Creativity, communication, problem solving skills and familiarity with computer graphics and design software also are important. A bachelor degree is required for most entry level and advanced graphic design positions, although some entry level technical positions may only require an associate degree. Bachelor degree programs in fine arts or graphic design are offered at many colleges, universities, and private design schools.

In addition to postsecondary training in graphic design, creativity, communication, and problem solving skills are crucial. Graphic designers must be open to new ideas and influences, quick to react, willing to work independently, creative and able to communicate their ideas visually, verbally, and in writing. They also must have an eye for details. Designers show employers these traits by putting together a portfolio, a collection of examples of a person’s best work. A good portfolio often is the deciding factor in getting a job.

Version C: Graduation Years 2016, 2017, 2018

Version D: Graduation Years 2019, 2020, 2021

Approved Secondary School Partners​

A.W. Beattie Career CenterAllison Park2009-2010
Beaver County CTCMonaca2010-2011
Berks CTC - West CampusLeesport2010-2011
Bethlehem AVTSBethlehem2011-2012
Bucks County Technical High SchoolFairless Hills2010-2011
Butler County AVTSButler2010-2011
Carbon Career & Technical InstituteJim Thorpe2011-2012
Central Montco Technical High SchoolPlymouth Meeting2010-2011
Central PA Institute of Science & TechnologyPleasant Gap2012-2013
Central Westmoreland CTCNew Stanton2010-2011
Chester County Technical College HS-BrandywineDowningtown2010-2011
Chester CountyTechnical College HS - PickeringPhoenixville2011-2012
Crawford County CTCMeadville2011-2012
CTC of Lackawanna CountyScranton2011-2012
Cumberland-Perry AVTSMechanicsburg2010-2011
Dauphin County Technical SchoolHarrisburg2011-2012
Delaware County Technical HS-AstonAston2010-2011
Dobbins AVT HSPhiladelphia2011-2012
Dover Area HSDover2013-2014
Eastern Center for Arts & TechnologyWillow Grove2009-2010
Edison HS/Fareira SkillsPhiladelphia2011-2012
Erie County Technical SchoolErie2010-2011
Fayette County Career & Technical InstituteUniontown2011-2012
Forbes Road CTCMonroeville2009-2010
Greater Altoona CTCAltoona2010-2011
Greater Johnstown CTCJohnstown2010-2011
Greater Johnstown SHSJohnstown2010-2011
Indiana County Technology CenterIndiana2011-2012
Kensington Creative & Performing Arts HSPhiladelphia2013-2014
Lancaster County CTC-Brownstown CampusBrownstown2010-2011
Lancaster County CTC-Willow St CampusWillow Street2010-2011
Lawrence County CTCNew Castle2011-2012
Lebanon County CTCLebanon2010-2011
Lehigh Career & Technical InstituteSchnecksville2010-2011
Mastbaum Jules E AVTSPhiladelphia2011-2012
McKeesport Area Technology CenterMcKeesport2011-2012
Middle Bucks Institute of TechnologyJamison2010-2011
North Montco Technical Career CenterLansdale2009-2010
Octorara Area SDAtglen2016-2017
Reading-Muhlenberg CTCReading2009-2010
South Philadelphia HSPhiladelphia2013-2014
Steel Center for Career & Technology EducationJefferson Hills2016-2017
SUN Area Technical InstituteNew Berlin2009-2010
Universal Audenried Charter SchoolPhiladelphia2018-2019
Western Montgomery CTCLimerick2010-2011
Williamsport Area SHSWilliamsport2014-2015
York County School of TechnologyYork2011-2012