What Does a Production Artist Do?

G. Wiesen

The responsibilities of a production artist involve the creation and refinement of some type of artistic assets as part of a design project. Specific duties can vary depending on the type of project an artist is working on, though in the past these artists were often involved in ensuring proper design and layout for print advertisements and similar products. Due to changes in technology, however, these responsibilities now usually involve the use of computers and design software to finalize the appearance and layout of digital assets. While other artists may work on a project, a production artist is typically the person responsible for finalizing work prior to its publication or use.

Production Artists are responsible for the design of publications such as newspapers.
Production Artists are responsible for the design of publications such as newspapers.

A production artist is often part of a larger art production crew, though he or she can also be a freelancer responsible for all aspects of art design on a project. This depends a great deal on the nature of the project on which he or she is working, though this artist is usually the last one to work on a project. In the past, much of this work was involved in ensuring proper layout and appearance of art and type on a page prior to publication. A production artist could work in a number of different industries, including advertising and illustration.

As technology has changed and developed, however, the responsibilities of a production artist have also evolved. He or she typically uses computer software now to review and finalize work prior to its use in one of a number of different mediums. Other graphic designers and artists might work on a major piece of advertising, for example, but the production artist usually reviews this work and finalizes it prior to commercial use of the artwork. He or she uses graphics software to carefully look over the work and ensure there are no mistakes, flaws, or issues that need to be handled before the work is used.

A production artist may work with others, or he or she may be responsible for completing all of the work himself or herself. When part of a team of artists, this individual usually ensures the other artists have completed their work to an acceptable level for project use, often making changes if necessary. As an individual artist, commonly working freelance, a production artist may be responsible for handling all aspects of a graphic design project. This means that he or she may work with a client to create an overall vision for the project, and then execute and finalize the design for completion.

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