A graphic artist is a person who is responsible for conceptualizing creative designs, and illustrating and implementing them in graphic form for publication in media such as print, digital media, motion pictures, animation, product decoration, packaging and signs. A graphic artist can have multiple job roles, as his post in a company depends on his work profile and his ability. For instance, a graphic artist in an advertising agency may be given the profile of an advertising account executive or an art director, whereas in a publication firm, a graphic artist can work as an illustrator or print-finishing artist.
In traditional contexts, a graphic artist is synonymous with a craftsman who composes visual material for printing or digital display, creating plates which could transfer designs to paper. However, in the modern context, a graphic artist does not need to bother with plate making, as computers and graphic tools have taken the place of traditional labor-intensive machinery. Even the job role of a graphic artist has undergone a change. No longer does an artist just create designs on a given parameter; he also has to be an able communicator, to interact with the clients for understanding their requirements and presenting his ideas in a proper manner. Modern day graphic artists should also have managerial capabilities to lead design teams and supervise the entire project, from conceptualizing the idea to printing the final product.
A graphic artist not only requires imagination and creativity, but should also have a firm grounding in the discipline of visual arts and be well-versed in color composition and color schemes, as an excellent designed advertisement with conflicting colors would have been returned by the client. An artist should also have expertise in software systems such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw to create high-quality designs. Modern graphic artists are multi-talented and can also create animated images and videos.
Although graphic artists were traditionally called commercial artists, with the changing trends in media, graphic artists are also working in digital media production houses as fine artists.