What is a Digital Illustrator?
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A digital illustrator is an important role when it comes to design. Digital illustrators typically spend their time creating a range of graphics for advertising agencies, design studios, and even the entertainment industry. Drawing has evolved along with the pace of technology, and the role of a digital illustrator reflects the fusion that has happened between traditional and digital art. While the people in these types of roles are most often freelancers, it is not uncommon for agencies and large companies requiring illustration work to employ this type of role in-house.
Digital illustrators create original pieces of artwork for print and digital publications and are well-versed in the best design software to create materials from logos to book covers and more. A good digital illustrator is able to seamlessly translate messages and ideas into appealing illustrations.
What does a Digital Illustrator do, typically?
Digital illustrators use digital tools to directly produce and manipulate images by their own hand. Their daily responsibilities may include:
- Using digital illustration tools such as bitmap and vector graphics applications
- Working with fellow digital team members and stakeholders to discuss and create designs and workflows
- Preparing rough drafts according to illustration/design requirements
- Discussing client needs and identifying an audience for illustrative work
- Ensuring printed illustrations meet quality color standards
- Staying up to date with new design techniques and software
A Digital Illustrator is not:
A Digital Designer
Digital designers are more focused on the overall design of an experience and must have good coding skills. A digital illustrator focuses almost purely on creating unique digital illustrations on their computer or digital tablet.
Graphic designers will overlap sometimes with digital illustrators, but an illustrator will focus on producing much more imagery, for example, using a digital design pen to draw out images and illustrations onto a tablet or on their computer.
Important metrics for a Digital Illustrator
1. Time spent on projects
This refers to the time spent on an illustration project compared to costs of the project to ensure a good return for the organization.
2. Estimated versus actual project budget
Looking into what the project was estimated to cost vs. the final cost of the project and measuring the exact differences between the two to advise and inform workflows and projects in the future.
3. Client satisfaction
Perhaps the most important metric, client satisfaction, is a direct indicator of a job well done and what could have been improved during the process. Meeting with the client to go over their thoughts and evaluating their experience via a survey is helpful in this instance.
Digital Illustrator Salary
US Based, employer-reported data for a Digital Illustrator:
- 25th Percentile $48.2K
- Average $56.7K
- 75th Percentile $65.9K
Digital Illustrator Job Description
Bonus copy for your Digital Illustrator job description or job ad!
Copy the text below and paste it into your own job description, or, into our FREE downloadable template in the section that looks like this: <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>
As a digital illustrator at <company XXX>, you will get to work along other design and digital team members to create original pieces of artwork for both print and digital. More specifically, you’ll get to:
- Use digital illustration tools such as bitmap graphics tools and vector graphics applications
- Work with all digital team members and stakeholders to discuss and create designs and workflows
- Prepare rough drafts according to requirements
- Discuss client needs and identify audiences for the work
- Ensure printed illustrations meet quality color standards
- Stay up to date with new design techniques and software
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