Computer Graphic Artist

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Computer Graphic Artist

Computer graphic artists use computers to create designs that meet the needs of their clients. They may be self-employed, or may work for publishing companies, printing companies, art and design studios, advertising agencies, design firms, commercial art and reproduction firms, wholesale and retail trade establishments, and public relations firms. Computer graphic artists generally have a bachelor's degree in art or design.

Computer graphic artists design promotional displays and marketing brochures for a company's products and services. They also design company logos for products and businesses. A graphic artist may create visual designs of annual reports and other corporate documents. In addition, they design packaging for products such as food or toys.

Some computer graphic artists develop the overall layout and design of magazines or newspapers. Other artists develop the graphics and layout of Internet web sites. Some computer graphic artists produce the credits that appear before and after television programs.

All of these design tasks require precise mathematics in laying out the various sections of text and pictures. For example, a computer graphics artist working for a newspaper may have to equally space two 3.1-inch wide text columns with a 1.6-inch picture between them. They must account for margin widths, the overall size of the pages, and the type of printing machine that will be used.

Computer graphic artists use computers for designing, sketching, and image manipulation. A computer creates a reproduction of an object by executing a program that uses an algorithm based on a mathematical formulation of the object. The algorithm may transform a three-dimensional object so the computer can create the two-dimensional picture seen on the computer monitor screen. In the past, graphic artists performed the trigonometric operations on lists of coordinates by hand. Now, graphic artists use computers to speed up the calculations and to model more complex objects.

see also Computer Animation.

Denise Prendergast


Steel, Lynn A., ed. For All Practical Purposes: Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1988.

Internet Resources

Visual Artists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. <http://stats.bls.gove/ocohome.htm>.

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Computer Graphic Artist

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