What Is Commercial Art?
Commercial art, often called advertising art, is used to sell goods and services. It is different from fine art, which exists for its own sake. Commercial artists are typically employed by advertising agencies, newspapers, magazines, graphic design firms, television studios and other similar businesses. Many commercial artists work for themselves as freelance designers.
Overview of Commercial Art
Commercial art applies artistic principles to a variety of fields. Commercial artists design advertisements, logos, billboards, brochures, book covers, product packaging and other similar artwork. Their work is often used to sell, promote, explain, narrate and inform.
Commercial artists can specialize in graphic design and illustration, among other areas. Illustrators create images for use in books, magazines and stationery. Graphic designers create artwork and layouts for books, newspapers, magazines, television, product packaging and the Internet. Graphic design professionals often work in advertising, marketing or related fields.
Many positions require an undergraduate-level degree in art or a related field. Students can expect to complete courses in commercial art and illustration, color theory, graphic design, desktop publishing, typography, multimedia design and photography. Students should also take courses that focus on the use of computer software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, that are commonly found in the commercial art business. Students interested in commercial art careers should also participate in internships to improve their professional skills.
Commercial artists should also have a strong portfolio. A portfolio is a showcase of a commercial artist's strongest work, and a quality portfolio can be more important than any degree or certification.
PayScale.com reports that in 2010, commercial artists earned $24,690-$65,080 annually. A professional's experience greatly influences their earning power. Commercial artists just beginning their careers can expect to earn about $35,000 a year, while those with ten years of experience may earn up to $70,000 annually.
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