What is an Advertising Designer?

by Shannon Dauphin Lee

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Advertising is absolutely everywhere. No longer just contained to television commercials or billboards on the side of the road, advertising can be found everywhere you look. Your cell phone has a logo, your doctor's office has informational posters sponsored by various companies and even your favorite movies have careful product placement.

As we become more accustomed to advertising, it takes catchier and more interesting adverts to get our attention. The work of an advertising designer attempts to do just that.

What is an advertising designer?

Advertising brings a company, product or person into the spotlight. Advertising can involve web content, print magazines or books, brochures and ads, promotional giveaways, animation, graphic design and so much more. Advertising designers work to bring the concept of the advertising to life through all of these different channels.

In addition to being able to create eye-catching designs, advertising designers must understand the promotion and marketing of those designs. Advertising designers work in a very competitive field, so they must be able to create something unique and different from that of the competition on a regular basis. They often work closely with other members of the advertising team, such as marketers, art directors or promotional executives, in order to create a well-rounded advertising campaign.

Those who work as web designers or graphic designers are sometimes considered advertising designers, depending upon the kind of work product they create. For instance, a graphic designer might create a logo that is meant to promote a company, or a web designer might create a website or program that is designed to bring more traffic to a particular company's site, thus helping to create awareness of their products or services.

How to become an advertising designer

In most positions concerning advertising design, a bachelor's degree is required for entry level work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work as a graphic designer, advertising manager or art director requires a bachelor's degree to get started.

Advertising designers who have a strong background in other areas of advertising can be an asset to employers. Those who have worked in public relations, promotions, sales or other positions related to advertising might be able to use that experience to design more well-rounded advertising campaigns.

Advertising designers need a good sense of the target audience, excellent communication skills and knowledge of how customer psychology works. A significant amount of knowledge in various graphic design programs is also helpful. They need to work well on tight deadlines, produce creative and unique ideas on a regular basis and work well with other members of the team.

Advancement often depends upon the years of work experience. For example, a graphic designer usually needs at least one year of on-the-job experience in order to advance to more responsibilities. An excellent portfolio filled with examples of past work can be a great boost when hiring or promotion time rolls around.

The job outlook for those in advertising positions is good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Advertising managers and graphic designers can expect to see job growth of about 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, while art directors can expect nine percent growth during that same time.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Managers," March 29, 2012
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Art Directors," August 31, 2012
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Graphic Designers," March 29, 2012
"Careers in Advertising Design: What You Should Know," Yahoo! Contributor Network, June 30, 2010, Buffy Naillon
"What Do We Mean by Advertising Design?," The Progressive Business Group

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