Commercial Art: Career Diploma Summary

About this article
A commercial artist conveys ideas and communicates a message with graphic information. It's an exciting career filled with artistic challenge and opportunities for groundbreaking expression. This article provides information about the training you need to become a commercial artist, and areas where you might search for employment.
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What is a Commercial Art Diploma Program?

Commercial art refers to art that is used for conveying information to interested parties. It requires many of the skills of other art forms, such as drawing, painting or photography, but serves a commercial or specific communicative purpose. A diploma in commercial art can prepares you for entry-level employment in a wide variety of industries where the discipline is in demand. You can work in advertising agencies, customer service, commercial printing, education, financial institutions, or freelance design and production. Government agencies use commercial artists, as does the health care industry. You might work as an in-house artist in publishing company, at a magazine or newspaper. There are commercial art jobs in manufacturing, service bureaus, television stations, video production companies, and public relations firms.

Skills Acquired

In a diploma program for commercial art, you will learn a great many necessary skills for translating your talent into a marketable discipline. You will take technical, advanced technical and general education courses in design, graphic production and Internet technologies. In most programs you will explore the principles of photographic design, and learn about the role of visual style in the commercial sector. You will study traditional drawing board techniques of graphic representation, while also gaining facility with the latest computer graphics software and applications. Also, you'll study graphic design problems to learn about the most create effective visual communications techniques, while learning to apply design, typography, software and production skills efficiently and accurately according to industry standards. As a commercial artist you will be expected to be creative and free-thinking, while maintaining an established style or direction, as well as being up to speed with the latest technologies. You will need an understanding of topics as varied as color management and copyrighting, and in some roles you will need to have customer service and business skills as well.

Coursework in a Commercial Art diploma program may include:

  • Typography Illustration
  • Techniques Layout and Design Production
  • Art Photograph Graphics Software
  • Electronic Prepress/Production Scanning and Proofing
  • Color Management
  • Four-Color Imaging
  • Internet Technologies
  • Portfolio Development
  • Applications in Screen Printing
  • Advertising Layout and Design
  • Fundamentals of Typography
  • Graphic Reproduction and Finishing

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Competition is fierce for employment in commercial art, but jobs are plentiful, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow steadily through 2014, as demand for graphic design continues to increase from advertisers, publishers, and computer design firms. Median annual earnings in commercial art averaged around $38K in 2004, with the highest paid earning as much as $65K.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Media & Arts Management and Promotion
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Media & Arts Management and Promotion
  • Campus and Online Programs
    2. The Art Institutes

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Visual Arts (MFA)
      • Interior Design (MFA)
      • Design & Media Management (MA)
    Bachelor's
      • Advertising Design (BFA)
      • Advertising Design (D)
      • Design Management (BA)
      • Design & Technical Graphics (BS)
      • Graphic Design (BFA)
      • Graphic Design (BS)
    Associate's
      • Graphic Design (AAS)
      • Graphic Design (AS)
      • Graphic Design (AAA)
      • Interior Design (AAS)
      • Interior Design (AS)
      • Graphic & Web Design (AAS)
    Certificate
      • Digital Image Management (C)
      • Residential Interiors (C)
    High School Diploma
      • Digital Image Management (D)
      • Residential Interiors (D)
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Graphic Design
  • New York, NY

    New York University

  • Knoxville, TN

    The University of Tennessee

  • Syracuse, NY

    Syracuse University

  • Highland Heights, KY

    Northern Kentucky University

Featured Schools

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Communication - Media & Arts Management and Promotion

What is your highest level of education completed?

The Art Institutes

  • Visual Arts (MFA)
  • Advertising Design (BFA)
  • Graphic Design (AAS)
  • Digital Image Management (C)
  • Digital Image Management (D)

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

  • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Full Sail University

  • M.S. - New Media Journalism
  • B.S. - Graphic Design

What is your highest level of education?