Art Director: The role of Art Director in advertising is the most widely sought career in the business. The ability to maintain a steady, creative working relationship with a copywriter is required for this job. As a team, they develop and design advertising campaigns based on demographic market research. This research tells them at what kind of audience to aim their campaign. Then they apply their creative intuition and imagination in order to find original ways to execute their advertising. Once developed, the campaign must be approved by the account executive and the creative director. Then it is presented to the client. The art director executes the final ad using type with illustration by an artist of his choice.
Copywriter: A Copywriter's job - dealing with words and writing - is strongly connected to design and visuals. People who write copy are not necessarily writers. Often some of the best copywriters are those whose backgrounds are in commercial art. The copywriter creates the words that accompany the pictures in print advertisements and television visuals. The copywriter is expected to come up with concepts that include both copy and visuals either alone or in working with an art director. It is valuable for a copywriter to know the ins and outs of print production (newspapers, magazines and annual reports) as well as the production aspects of film, radio & video tape.
Layout Artist: Layout Artists create the visual aspects of advertising in magazine and newspaper ads, television commercials, and product packaging. They select photographs, draw illustrations, and decide on the colors and style of type to be used. They also prepare samples of art work for account executives that are planning advertising campaigns with clients and prospective clients.
Mechanical Artist: Using materials received from the Art Director, the person who prepares art for reproduction must be able to follow accurately the art director's instructions. With these materials, a mechanical is prepared. This is done by pasting up type and pictures on an illustration board. Sometimes the mechanical artist is asked to execute design elements as well. When finished, the mechanical must appear exactly as the ad will look when reproduced. One who does paste ups and mechanicals must have excellent manual dexterity, drafting skills, and eye for spacing type, thorough knowledge of reproduction techniques, and the ability to work with painstaking precision.
Letterer: The letterer must understand and execute both built-up and calligraphic letter forms and be able to design new lettering. Knowledge of the history of lettering is necessary. In most instances, the letterer would work on a freelance basis. Absolute precision, expert draftsmanship, and a highly refined sense of proportion, letter spacing, and the inter-relationships of words and letters are required.
Contributed by Barbara Labrosse - SUNY Oswego