What Does a Broadcast Designer Do?

M. Kayo
M. Kayo
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A broadcast designer develops and maintains a visual corporate image for an electronic media company, such as a television station, advertising agency, film production facility, or broadcasting corporation. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate degrees and training in broadcast design although some broadcast designers have taught themselves through hands-on experience. Broadcast designers are typically good listeners and effective visual communicators, sometimes initiating or communicating an idea through a single sketch. A broadcast designer must also possess an exceptional sense of design, color, composition, color harmony, and typography.

Creating or maintaining a certain look and feel for a particular television station or broadcasting company is a big part of what a broadcast designer does. The concept, creation, and production of a consistent look for on-screen graphics is critical for any television station or broadcasting corporation. The responsibilities of this job include coming up with the concepts and design for graphics, having a working knowledge of specific computer programs and graphic software, an ability to produce high-quality work under extremely tight time constraints, and to maintain the particular graphic look and feel of a corporate image or brand.

Basic requirements for the position of broadcast designer include a working knowledge of animation, motion graphics, computer graphics imagery, and a solid working knowledge of the latest graphic software. A good broadcast designer has developed the ability to create solid, visual ideas from sometimes confusing or ambiguous information. These graphics communicate a single idea or thought into an easily understandable image for viewers — a storm graphic for a hurricane segment on a newscast, a title screen for an upcoming documentary, or on-screen graphics for a special program. Broadcast designers work alongside reporters to develop story graphics and with producers and directors to create the look and feel for various program. They also direct production staff and even assist clients in creating commercials.

The position of broadcast designer is not for those who are looking for a typical nine-to-five position. This job will likely require long hours, working late into the night, and perhaps even overnight — whatever is required to complete and deliver quality work when it is needed. A broadcast designer must be willing to work long hours over protracted periods of time and even be willing to work on weekends and holidays. The ability to work fast, provide top-notch work, perform as a team player, and meet multiple deadlines are perhaps the most important requirements for this job.

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