My Education: Bachelor of Fine Art, Massachusetts College of Art
My Prior Experience: I was a designer and production manager at a printing company.
My Company: We sell training services to audit and information security specialists.
Job/Career Overview: I am a graphic designer and a production manager. My job is to design and print marketing materials for the web or for print. Marketing materials could be brochures, catalogs, postcards, etc. Web marketing material could be web banners or web buttons.
When I design a piece I need to make sure I get the main idea or selling feature across. Most pieces are used in direct mail so they have a very high chance of being thrown away before they are read. I need to make sure the reader looks at the piece before they throw it away.
First I come up with a concept and then I do a few sketches or layouts. I then present them to the Marketing Director and we settle on a design. I then start building the piece in either Indesign or Photoshop. I present a first draft to the Marketing Director and then we go back and forth with edits to the copy and design.
The production management end of the job is working with the printers who print the marketing materials. I am responsible for getting print quotes for each job and maintaining a budget for the department. After the job is done I prepare it for the printer. The files are exported to the printer's specification and emailed to them or put on their .ftp site. Some parts of this job can be technical.
I rate this career 10 out of 10.
The best part of my job is that I get to be creative. I design in Creative Suite using both Indesign and Photoshop. Both programs are fun to use and help you to be very creative.
The worst part of my job is when we get very busy. Sometimes I have to design many pieces at the same time. It is difficult to come up with multiple ideas that are fresh and interesting. Sometimes it is challenging to know all the aspects of each program. You must always educate yourself.
I would say the best advice is to have a lot of confidence in your design work. Make sure you listen to the client and give them what they want. Also, staying under budget is very important.