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Illustrators create original illustrations using a computer to create vector-based graphics or traditional hand-drawn drawings. Illustrators create logos and identity systems, brand guides as well as characters, backgrounds and original designs to showcase an idea or a product. Illustrators can work on projects such as brochures, websites, posters, billboards, and email design. Illustrators have their choice of industry to work in, from corporate to fashion and entertainment, there are no limits.
An Illustrator’s role on a creative team may include discussing the brand’s needs and identifying who the audience is for the project. They may also draw up sketches that give the client rough visual designs to choose from. This process can be repeated several times before a final concept is agreed upon.
Several technical skills are helpful to have for an Illustrator. These include:
- Being creative and imaginative with a trained eye for color, balance, and layout
- Exhibiting a strong portfolio of drawing, sketching, and painting skills
- Having a solid understanding of photography skills
- Being familiar with IT and design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, Photoshop, and Mudbox
- Familiarity using computer-aided design (CAD) software
- Producing clean, crisp, eye-appealing designs
- Having the ability to take an abstract concept and turn it into a graphic
- Able to see close up detail and have good hand-eye coordination
- Being industry savvy with a solid set of artistic skills
- Having a Bachelor’s degree in Design, Visual Arts or relevant qualification
Common tasks of Illustrators include preparing several iterations and drafts according to the requirements given by the client. They can be asked to combine hand-drawn techniques with digital media. They use their knowledge of design software programs in order to refine the designs they are working with. Illustrators engage their artistic expertise daily as they collaborate with various teams, sharing their design briefs with clients and design teams alike. While the foundation and basic principles of their artistic skills may remain unchanged, Illustrators must make sure to stay up-to-date with new design techniques and software in their industry.
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