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Art Editor Profile


Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Art Editor. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Art Editor
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Art Editor Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

An art editor works on a magazine, making sure it looks good and is easy to read. They are involved in every stage of the process, from first draft to print and publication. Using desktop publishing software, they design the cover of the magazine, and choose graphics, photographs and images to enhance the text and add impact to the articles.

Working with a team, they are responsible for maintaining a high standard of presentation and creating new ideas and looks for the publication. They also work with photographers, copywriters and illustrators, some of whom may be freelance.

Most art editors work 37 hours a week, although they would be expected to work additional hours at certain times to meet deadlines. The work is done in well-lit offices, and involves sitting at a desk, working at a computer screen. Sometimes they may need to attend photo shoots. An art editor needs:

• to be creative
• to have strong design, typography and layout skills
• good computer skills, in particular using Desk Top Publishing (DTP) packages
• to understand the target market
• good communication skills
• to be interested in art and design.

The main employers are publishers of magazines, and specialist business and on-line publications. The majority of publications are located in and around London and the South East. There are also good opportunities in Edinburgh, but smaller publications can be found throughout the UK. There is fierce competition for editorial work in magazines. Art editors normally need a degree or an HNC/HND in either graphic design or another visual arts subject. Colleges and employers usually require applicants to provide a good, up-to-date portfolio of work. Courses leading to qualifications in art and design are widely available at universities and art colleges throughout the UK, and entry requirements vary between institutions. New entrants often learn on the job, alongside more experienced staff. Some large publishers have formal graduate trainee schemes. It is important that art editors keep up to date with developments in IT and changes in software packages.

Art editors in larger organisations can gain promotion through taking on a more senior role or by moving to a more prestigious publication. Some may move into other areas of design, into advertising or set up their own design agency. There are also some opportunities to work on a freelance basis.

What does the role encounter?

An art editor is responsible for the way a magazine looks. They work closely with the editor to create and maintain a strong image for their publication.

It is a creative role that requires innovative thinking. Art editors decide on page layout and design, and are involved in every stage of the process, from first draft to print and publication. Working on a computer, using various desktop publishing programs, the work of an art editor involves:

• designing the cover of the magazine and the page layout to make it attractive and easy to read
• arranging the layout and design of pictures, text, photographs and advertisements
• commissioning illustrators and photographers to produce images to go with the articles the magazine is running.

They usually work as part of a team. In a larger company this could include a graphic designer, a picture editor and an artworker. All art editors work with a large number of other professionals, such as photographers, copywriters and illustrators, some of whom work for the same organisation and some work on a freelance basis.

The art editor is responsible for communicating ideas quickly and accurately to everyone involved in the project. They are responsible for maintaining a high standard of presentation, and creating new ideas and looks for the publication.

An art editor may also be involved in coming up with ideas to help increase sales, and must keep up to date with the work of their competitors.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Most art editors work 37 hours a week, usually either 9am to 5pm or 10am to 6pm. There are often tight production schedules, and they may be expected to work additional hours at certain times to ensure that deadlines are met.

Most of the work is done in well-lit offices, working with other members of the team. It involves sitting at a desk, working with images on a computer screen.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• A starting salary for an art editor may be around £15,000 a year.
• An experienced art editor can expect to earn around £25,000 a year.
• On national publications an experienced art editor can earn in excess of £30,000 a year.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• to be creative
• to have strong design, typography and layout skills
• good computer skills, in particular using Desk Top Publishing (DTP) packages
• to understand the target market
• good communication skills
• to be able to see an idea from research through to a final design
• to work well in a team and with a wide range of people
• to be self-motivated and able to work well under pressure
• a good eye for detail
• to be able to cope with criticism
• excellent organisational skills.

What type of training will I receive?

Most training is done on the job. New art editors usually work alongside more senior and experienced members of the team. Some of the larger publishing firms offer formal graduate trainee schemes that provide a good entry into the business and offer an understanding of the business as a whole. However, these are not necessarily design specific.

It is important that art editors keep up to date with developments in IT and changes in software packages. For those wishing to update their skills, there are many opportunities to attend external courses at training centres and colleges throughout the UK.

Further training may also be available through specialist courses led by the major software suppliers or through various computer-based tuition packages.

Career Progression:

Opportunities for promotion depend on the size of the organisation. With experience, art designers in larger companies may progress to senior editorial roles or to project manager. Larger publishing houses often produce many titles, and it may be possible to move to work on a more prestigious publication.

With the relevant skills and experience, there may also be the opportunity to transfer into another field of graphic design, such as web design, or move into a related area such as advertising.

Some art editors with an excellent level of experience and good contacts in the industry choose to become self-employed working on a freelance basis, or set up their own design agency.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Advertising Art Director.

Where can I find further information?

D & AD, 9 Graphite Square, Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5EE. 020 7840 1111. Website: www.dandad.org

National Society for Education in Art & Design (NSEAD), The Gatehouse, Corsham Court, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 0BZ. 01249 714825. Website: www.nsead.org

Periodical Publishers Association (PPA), Queens House, 28 Kingsway, London WC2B 6JR. 020 7404 4166. Website: www.ppa.co.uk

Periodicals Training Council, Queens House, 28 Kingsway, London WC2B 6JR. 020 7400 7509. Website: www.ppa.co.uk

The Publishers Association, 29B Montague Street, London WC1B 5BW. 020 7691 9191. Website: www.publishers.org.uk

Scottish Arts Council, 12 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7DD. 0131 226 6051. Website: www.scottisharts.org.uk

Society for Editors and Proofreaders, Riverbank House, 1 Putney Bridge Approach, Fulham, London SW6 3JD. 020 7736 3278. Website: www.sfep.org.uk.

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Media Week
Publishing News.

Other Useful Art Editor Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Art Editor job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Art Editor Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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