What is a Commercial Artist?

Advertising is all around us! We see it everyday in the form of advertisements, brochures, logos, product packaging, billboards, book covers, and other similar artwork.

Commercial artists are the people that design this type of advertising. Commercial art - sometimes referred to as advertising art - is used to inform, promote, and sell goods and services by using visual images to communicate a message.

What does a Commercial Artist do?

Commercial artists create well-designed and crafted advertisements and product packaging, resulting in increased sales for a variety of industries.

A commercial artist looking at a colour palette for design inspiration.

They often meet with a client to get a general idea of a project concept and then work out the details independently. Part of this process involves helping the client determine the best designs based on the type of product or advertisement and the target customer base. They then create several drafts until the finished product is accepted; these drafts are either hand-drawn or computer-aided.

Commercial artists speak with their clients throughout the design process to keep them up-to-date with the project's direction, answer any questions, and receive input. They often create several versions of a finished project so that clients can choose their favorites.

Marketing Design
A commercial artist in marketing can be responsible for designing displays, brochures, packaging, logos, and environmental graphics. They need to take into account both the market research concerning the target audience, as well as the needs of the client.

This may require meeting with the client and understanding their basic ideas before beginning the design process. They develop designs for the project by hand drawing a few sketches, or by using a computer graphics program. They may also work alongside an art director.

Publishing and Communications Design
A commercial artist in publishing and communications helps with the electronic layout of the publication and with designing print advertisements or marketing materials. In designing advertising copy, a variety of graphics and colours are used that meet the specifications of the publication. These artists are commonly involved with the printing process, helping to decide paper grades or ink selection.

Advertising agencies also design a number of print advertisements for publications, and commercial artists are asked to create winning ad designs. They will present the advertisement to the client and ad representative, and any changes will be made at that time. When all changes are made and approved, the ad will be ready to be included in a print publication.

Are you suited to be a commercial artist?

Commercial artists have distinct personalities. They tend to be artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. They are unstructured, original, nonconforming, and innovative. Some of them are also investigative, meaning they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive.

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What is the workplace of a Commercial Artist like?

Commercial artists work in publishing, broadcasting, film, digital design, advertising and marketing. They are employed in a variety of places, such as advertising agencies, marketing groups, manufacturers, corporations, magazine publishing companies, newspapers, television and movie studios, graphic design consulting firms, and private freelance studios.

Commercial artists typically work with other designers and advertising experts, whereas self-employed artists typically handle all aspects of a project themselves.