Layout Artist

By TACP Staff on July 16th, 2021

Layout artists are responsible for communicating a cohesive visual design in print or on a web page using graphic images, article content, advertisements, artwork, and photographs. Layout artists are recognized as a branch of graphic design, due to their creative artistry and use of design principles such as color, type, and shape to assemble a balanced piece of visual communication.

What Is a Layout Artist?

While flipping through a book or magazine, you’ll most likely be sure to spot a bad layout. These types of publications are essentially very hard to follow, and they’re also likely to be rather unpleasant looking. All it takes to throw the layout of a publication off is one little thing. Chances are, however, you most likely won’t give a great layout a second thought. The publication will be completely seamless, and it will flow perfectly, making it very easy to follow and easy of the eyes.

Layout artists are the professionals that are responsible for creating the eye-pleasing layouts found in books, magazines, and dozens of other products. Posters, brochures, advertisements, CD cases, and flyers are some of the other items that a layout artist might help design. Some layout artists may even specialize in product package design, creating attractive and sometimes informational packages for products. Layout artists may also work on websites, making them attractive and easy to navigate.

What Does a Layout Artist Do?

Essentially, a layout artist helps create the perfect blend of text, images, and space. The majority of layout artists typically specialize in designing the layout of specific items, like magazines or books. Some layout artists, however, may work on several different types of products.

Before starting a project, a layout artist will typically meet with his client or employer to discuss how a certain project should look. Ideally, the final product should not only be pleasing to the eye but also easy to understand and follow as well.

A layout artist will often start with designing the text for a publication or product first. This will often involve choosing a style for the font, along with a color and size. Text is the predominant aspect of many products that many layout designers work on, particularly books and magazines.

A layout artist will also use images when designing publications and products as well. Depending on the purpose and intended feel of a publication, a layout designer may use several different types of images, including photographs, illustrations, graphs, and charts. In some cases, a layout artist will need to create or edit these images himself, but most of the time, these images are already provided.

Before the popularity of computers, a layout artist typically used physical pieces of paper and images to create a layout. This often involved arranging and rearranging block of printed text and images until they looked right. To hold these items in place, tape or glue was often used. Today, however, to create the perfect layout, a layout artist will often use computer software and digital files.

Layout Artist Education & Training Requirements

To begin a successful career as a layout artist, most individuals should shoot for either a two or four-year degree. When pursuing this type of career, graphic design or desktop publishing degrees are usually necessary. Students interested in designing website layouts should consider taking courses in website design and website development as well.

In earning their degrees, most aspiring layout artists will take courses such as design, layout, typography, and illustration. Several computer courses are also usually necessary. These computer courses typically aim to teach future layout artists how to use graphic design and layout software. Website design students will also usually take courses in computer programming as well.

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Layout Artist Salary & Job Outlook

After earning their degrees, some layout artists – particularly website layout designers – may choose to work as freelancers, offering their services to those who need them. In doing this, a layout artist is able to pick and choose what types of projects he will work on, but the work may not always be steady.

There are also several opportunities for layout artists looking for more stable employment. With the right combination of talent and degrees, many layout artists are able to find employment with publishing houses.

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