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Advertising Design Job Description

Find out what you'll do in an advertising design job—and what education you'll need.
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ad managers comparing ad layouts

Living in today's society, you can't turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even walk down the street without someone trying to sell you something.

Good advertising has a way of sticking with you, whether it's a memorable jingle, a clever catch-phrase or a beautiful image.

In order to capture consumer's attention and stick in their memory, an advertising design job blends psychology, marketing and creativity into a seamless presentation.

Although many advertising design professionals focus their energy on the creative end of the spectrum, psychology and marketing often spill over into their everyday work, making this job one that favors those who can multitask.

Jobs at Ad Agencies

Small agencies may work mostly with freelance or contract graphic designers, or they may combine roles. Large firms will likely have fully-staffed creative departments. Designers who work for advertising agencies usually hold one of three jobs:

  • Graphic designers work on layouts and design elements for ads in various mediums.
  • Art directors oversee both staff and contract graphic designers. They coordinate the efforts of several people on a project.
  • Creative directors manage all the parts of the creative department. From the ad copy and sound elements to the graphics and layout, creative directors perform quality control on all pieces of a project.

Skills Needed for Advertising Design Jobs

  • Artistic Ability – Artistic talent is the most obvious trait that advertising designers should possess. Having a good portfolio that demonstrates your skill and creativity will help you get noticed by prospective employers.
  • Communication Skills – Knowing your target audience and how to talk to them is a critical piece of advertising design. Your marketing skill and knowledge of customer psychology will play an important role in helping you get a message out to consumers.
  • Competitive Attitude – The advertising industry is highly competitive—and one ad can make or break a career. While the pressure may not be as extreme for designers as it is in other ad agency positions, you will most likely be working under deadlines with people who are under pressure. You'll need to keep up or be left behind.
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Graphic Design Degree & Career Guide