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Layout Artist vs. Graphic Designer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A layout artist and graphic designer both work in the field of design and use their creativity to communicate messages through visuals. If you’re interested in a career in design, you may be wondering what the difference is between these two positions. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between layout artists and graphic designers, and we provide information on what you can expect from each profession.

What is a Layout Artist?

Layout Artists are responsible for the overall design and composition of a project, including the placement of text, images, and other visual elements. They work closely with Editors, Art Directors, and other designers to ensure that the final product is visually appealing and meets all the requirements of the client. Layout Artists use their knowledge of design principles to create layouts that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. They often work with desktop publishing software to create digital mockups of their designs. In some cases, Layout Artists may also be responsible for the printing and production of the final product.

What is a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designers use text, images, color and space to create visual solutions to communication problems. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Graphic Designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color and line length of headlines, headings and text. Graphic Designers also develop graphics for product illustrations, logos and websites. In addition, Graphic Designers may layout photographs, illustrations and text to create visually appealing and effective designs.

Layout Artist vs. Graphic Designer

Here are the main differences between a layout artist and a graphic designer.

Job Duties

Both graphic designers and layout artists have similar job duties, such as creating advertisements, book covers or posters. Another duty of both professions is to collaborate with clients to determine the best design for their project. Layout artists also often work with writers to create text that’s visually appealing. Another key difference between the two roles is that a layout artist typically focuses on creating page layouts, while graphic designers may use these layouts as inspiration for other projects.

Job Requirements

Most layout artists and graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Many professionals also pursue certification through the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). This organization offers several different types of certifications, including the Certified Graphic Designer credential, which requires candidates to have at least seven years of experience in the field. The AIGA also offers an Associate Graphic Designer credential for entry-level professionals.

Work Environment

Layout artists work in a variety of environments, depending on the type of company they work for. For example, layout artists who work for publishing companies may work in an office setting with other employees and supervisors. Layout artists who work for advertising agencies or marketing firms may travel to different locations to meet with clients and collaborate on projects.

Graphic designers typically work in an office environment, but some graphic designers also freelance and work from home. Freelance graphic designers may have irregular hours and work weekends and evenings to meet deadlines.


Layout artists and graphic designers share some basic skills, such as creativity, attention to detail and artistic ability. They also both use design software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to create their designs.

However, layout artists and graphic designers have different job responsibilities, which require different skills. Layout artists typically work on print projects, such as magazines, newspapers and books. Their job is to arrange the text and images on a page in an appealing and effective way. This requires strong typography skills and an understanding of how to use white space.

Graphic designers often work on digital projects, such as websites, apps and social media graphics. In addition to having strong typography skills, they need to be proficient in user experience (UX) design and understand how to create designs that are both visually appealing and easy to use.


The average salary for a layout artist is $66,557 per year, while the average salary for a graphic designer is $57,060 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of work you do, your location and your experience level.


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