WHAT IT IS + JOB DESCRIPTION
Production Assistants are important members of any creative department. They work closely with the Art Director and or graphic designers to provide important technical and operational support through any creative project. The article “What is a Production Assistant” outlined the role of the Production Assistant, known as “the creative professionals responsible for carrying out the execution of a design concept. These essential members of a creative team are the ‘doers’ who run with a designer’s creative vision to ensure all creative deliverables are produced on time.”
What does a Production Assistant do, typically?
Serve as project manager/lead for key design projects
Production Assistants handle several key aspects of a creative project and need both strong organizational and project management skills. They help keep projects on deadlines and work as the liaison between the art director and graphic designer, and client. . Production Assistants also need good communication skills, especially because they are representing the company with the agency/client, or department when working with internal stakeholders.
Use a variety of technical skills to complete projects
In addition to a background in graphic design and art, production assistants must possess strong technical skills. As with any creative job, there are a variety of software programs a Production Assistant may use on a daily basis to complete projects. These specialists may use Adobe Creative Suite products, such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, on a daily basis. Some popular programs include Corel Draw Graphics Suite, FlightCheck, and Adobe After Effects. Production Assistants with a knowledge of HTML/CSS and/or coding experience can add even more value to an organization.
Solve problems and provide input
Production Assistants must have strong problem-solving skills. They need to lead the project from the standpoint of outlining requirements to eliminate scope creep and keep things moving forward. Production Assistants must be able to troubleshoot on the fly – project needs and deadlines can change quickly. They also provide designers with suggestions, ideas, and feedback to help assist them in ensuring the creative process moves forward and/or they are meeting client/project objections.
Production Assistant versus Graphic Designer
A graphic designer is the “creative” mind behind a design project, such as a magazine layout, digital project, newspaper advertisement, printed/packaged material, or sales/advertising collateral. An art director often provides creative direction and leadership, a graphic designer takes that guidance and uses their art/graphic design skills to “design” the project, and the production assistant then does the work behind the scenes to help start and complete the project.
Production assistants handle prepress work for digital and print projects. Production assistants are also responsible for preflight formatting and collect, organize, proof, and upload files. A production assistant has similar skill sets to a graphic designer and also has strong technical and project management skills. While the designer may create the finished product, the Production Assistant is right there with the designer, assisting in making it happen. In some cases, they may even use their design skills to complete certain aspects of a project.
Bonus Copy for Your Production Assistant Job Description or Job Ad!
Copy the following text and paste it into your own job description, or, into our downloadable template in the section that looks like this: <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>
As a Production Assistant <Company XXX>, you’ll be a key player within our talented creative department, working closely with the Art Director and a team of graphic designers to ensure projects stay on track, meet our high standards, and tight deadlines. As a Production Assistant, you will have a strong background in graphic design and art, along with a combination of technical and project management skills to ensure success. In addition, you will:
- Collaborate closely with art directors, designers, and others within a creative team, as well as members of the marketing team, agencies, and external clients
- Prepare proofed, and final press-ready files based on supplied specifications for several types of design projects, including print and digital
- Have strong troubleshooting skills and the ability to resolve any artwork issues that arise during production
- Possess strong technical skills, including experience on both a Mac and PC, as well as with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
- Experience with HTML/CSS and working on projects for the web a bonus
- Provide image retouching and additional image manipulation as needed
- Possess strong attention to detail and outstanding organizational skills
- Have the ability to juggle multiple projects and deadlines, work well under pressure, and meet tight deadlines
- Be open, want to learn, and take on new responsibilities as they come up