Layout Designer

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Layout Designer


It is almost impossible to travel down the highway, pick up a magazine, or turn on the computer without being bombarded by advertisements. Ads are everywhere, and so a company must ensure that their product is being sold in innovative and interesting ways. But even if the advertising concept they come up with is fresh, funny, and provocative, unless the people designing the look of the ad can make it clean, organized, and professional, that product will never be sold.

Layout designers play an important role in our society, and not just in advertising. They are responsible for the look of websites, newspapers, magazines, concert programs, billboards, and posters. They use a variety of techniques to do this. They use old-fashioned tools like glue, scissors, and stencils, as well as state-or-the-art technology to achieve the best look. They manipulate the various parts of a publication either by hand or with a mouse, in an attempt to create products that are organized, clean, and easy to follow. They work alongside graphic designers, writers, and desktop publishers, assisting them in their various jobs.

Layout designers work for just about everyone. They may create and manage web pages for a company or organization, they may work for publishing houses, newspapers, and advertising firms. Wherever they work, the layout designer strives to create attractive, readable products in order to get across the client's message to a target audience.
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Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design (Online)



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  Interests and Skills  
What skills does it take to become a layout designer? Layout designers need to be organized, able to work on a number of projects at once, and comfortable working for hours at a time on their own. They are able to think creatively about a whole variety of subject matter. It is important that they like working indoors, and feel comfortable with the Internet and computers in general, yet also be interested in art and the fundamentals of design. Layout designers need to be focused, and detail oriented and able to work well under pressure. They should also have good communication skills, and a head for business and design.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Format newspapers, magazines, books, reports, and other publications
  • Design websites
  • Maintain and upgrade websites
  • Perform administrative duties
  • Layout designers spend most of each day on the computer, using various software programs in their work, or working with print materials, positioning illustrations, text, and photographs by hand. Along with formating new material, they may also maintain and upgrade web sites. They work indoors, with little opportunity to travel. They interact with a number of people, including writers, editors, desktop publishers, and graphic designers.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Layout designers work for magazines, advertising agencies, retailers, printer and copy shops, publishing companies, or are on staff with graphic design firms. Some are self-employed. They work in offices and studios, sometimes at home. They can work alone, but those employed by bigger firms or with well-established reputations will take on associates and assistants to help with the workload. Their hours are usually regular, unless they are working longer hours to meet a deadline.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Layout designers can advance to supervisory roles, or open their own design firms. They can become visual artists, as well as train to use computer animation programs and get involved in computer animation. They can also become textile artists, desktop publishers, clothing designers, and website developers and masters.

  Educational Paths  
Layout designers need both a degree or diploma in graphic art or commercial art, as well as some hands-on experience. Courses in web design, Internet development, computer science, sociology, psychology, and business are some of the courses they might find useful. Ask to volunteer in a layout capacity with a school paper, local publications, and non-profit organizations like a museum or a charity. It is also a good idea for prospective layout designers to create their own web page.
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
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