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Graphic Design Basics: Spotlight on Multimedia Careers

door-to-multimediaA Job That Didn't Exist Before
Although the word "multimedia" is familiar to virtually everyone who is involved in graphic design, this vitally important job category in industries such as film and computer software did not exist prior to the digital age.

Jack of All Trades?
Multimedia artists bring a wide variety of talent and skills to the table. They have a good knowledge of computers and graphic design software and use their abilities in illustration and drawing  to produce subject matter for animation or flash presentations.

They are able to incorporate various media elements related to print, film or audio to produce original content.

multimedia-monitorsThe Job
The soft skills of communication, both written and verbal, are vitally important because of the enormous amount of back-and-forth that occurs between team members, clients, and producers.

If lines of communication fail, the resulting time lost in having to redo a project can be extremely costly.

Many multimedia artists work in advertising, computer software, television, mobile video game companies, and film. They produce animations and special visual effects that are used for commercials, movies, video games and other industries and businesses that need computer generated multimedia.

tv-graphicBusinesses rely on multimedia to inform and train staff on company policies, sales methods or as an aid for presenting business reports. Companies also rely on multimedia artists to assist in designing their websites.

Educational software is popular and multimedia artists help to author the various programs that help children or adults in topics such as language, reading or math. The multimedia artist works closely with writers, educators, and art directors.

graduation-ceremonyCareer Training and Education
A four-year degree at a university or graphic design school, with an emphasis in multimedia design, is usually required to qualify for entry level job positions.

Core classes should include courses related to 3-D imaging techniques, animation production, multimedia theory, and training in cutting edge software programs.

The most popular design software used today includes Maya, Lightwave, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Corel Draw.

Contact your graphic design college, design center or university for course details and program degrees.

The Career Outlook
Jobs for multimedia artists are expected to increase 12 percent from 2008 through 2018. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states:

"...talented individuals who have developed a mastery of artistic techniques and skills will have the best job prospects. Multimedia artists and animators should have better job opportunities than other artists but still will experience competition."

The mean annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $62,810 (BLS -- May 2009).


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