DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is full performance level work designing and producing a wide variety
of informational and promotional visual materials concerning the missions, operations,
programs, services and messages of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive Branches
of Montgomery County for dissemination to the public or County employees. Products
include but are not limited to posters, slides, brochures, pamphlets, annual
reports, banners, signs, tickets, report covers and website pages. The illustration
or visual information provided is as diverse in content and audience as the
County's functions, operations and demography. Personal contacts typically include
professionals, administrators, officials and others they support with graphic
products to exchange factual information, ideas and suggestions about content
and treatment. There is contact with in-house and contract printers, in-house
and contract artists and others to acquire final copy, get publications printed
and obtain related services. The work may include some public service/assistance,
but it its incidental to the primary focus of the work performed.
An employee in this class designs, develops and coordinates production of visual materials that combine word and art to convey routine and non-routine information. Work requires knowledge of and skill in using the principles of graphic design (principally for publications and the Internet, but also for exhibits and similar products), various media for informational and promotional purposes, and printing processes to effectively illustrate a subtle message or a continuing theme in addition to straightforward routine or non-routine information. The work also requires skill in creative aesthetics to provide a quality artistic design. Continuing assignments are usually received as part of the continuous flow of office work, with additional instructions provided for new or unusual assignments. Work is performed in accordance with established formats and processes, relying on previous training (including scales of design, size, shape, color matching and similar matters), experience and creativity. General supervision by the supervisor typically focuses on policies, priorities, time lines, costs, customer service, etc., not artistic content. The work may be reviewed when completed for adequacy and soundness, or may enter into further processes un-reviewed. Guidelines include County and departmental policies, procedures and branding, industry standards, trade practices and special graphics and web design packages. The Graphic Artist uses experienced judgment, resourcefulness and, at times, discretion, to select and apply or adapt/modify or depart from guidelines in searching databases and selecting and using various design elements, visual images and typography to effectively communicate straightforward information, subtle messages and recurring themes.
The complexity of this class involves working with clients to provide accurate information to the general public or specific audiences through production of visuals that attractively and effectively communicate themes, messages and, principally, straightforward information by combining word and art. The Graphic Artist may need to assure the soundness of his/her work while meeting critical deadlines in a context of rapidly changing priorities or a generally fast-paced environment. The work is intended to inform, educate, publicize, emphasize, clarify and, at times, convince or persuade the general public or specific audiences through production of cost effective, attractive, timely and thoughtful visual information/graphics. Work is performed in an office environment and presents no significant hazards. Work is mainly sedentary but requires moving about and, in some assignments, lifting and carrying and moving of equipment weighing up to 20 pounds. Work requires considerable keyboarding, some equipment operation, constant identification, selection and application of basic colors, shapes and sizes, and occasional fine distinctions in color.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Meets with own supervisor or customers (including authors/editors/principals in departments, agencies, program offices, etc.) concerning wants and needs for design and production of illustrative and attractive visual information products for print applications (including but not limited to brochures, flyers, reports, guides, charts, signs, newsletters and banners) or web applications (such as text and art on web pages or web links); provides creative and technical assistance to customers concerning combinations of text and art in graphic presentations to help convey intended information to intended audience(s); recommends design options to customers, informs them of processes and procedures, including branding and corporate graphic standards, and advises them of media options, materials, costs, time and other factors; provides or coordinates agreed-upon design and production services (which may include creating custom artwork as well as using a library of images); and coordinates or assists customers with the procurement process.
Coordinates pre-press production functions and printing with County Government print shop or outside contractors, making pre-press corrections to files (such as correcting images, changing fonts, making color adjustments and changing positions and dimensions to fit paper sizes); prepares projects for printing by various printers, which require different set-ups; writes work specifications for work to be performed by contractors; monitors contracts and makes recommendations on the acceptability of services; and serves as liaison between contractor and customer.
Installs computer software, upgrades and manufacturer-recommended software modifications; and troubleshoots and resolves specialized computer system problems. Recommends new software and equipment.
Works with paper suppliers, typesetters, printers, and/or silk screeners to establish cost and schedule implications for alternative designs.
Develops formats for standard publications.
Develops typesetting and printing specifications for each graphic communication designed.
Checks color and press proofs for adherence to specifications.
Dummies publications for client review.
Illustrates publications with drawings, photos, type designs, or special treatments of any of these.
Selects and crops photos, adjusting color modes, balance, contrast, resolution , sharpness, brightness, hue and saturation levels; and computes percentages for enlargements and reductions.
Recommends and produces special effects, such as line conversions, mezzotints, and posterizations.
Prepares special charts or other graphic material as requested.
Critiques the work of other staff members from graphics art perspectives.
With approval, edits and reorganizes material for cost effectiveness and better impact.
Maintains an electronic library of art (photos, drawings, clip art and other images).
Stays abreast of developments in the graphic arts as they may impact assignments.
Takes photos of events, sites, etc. to create copy for publications or web pages.
May create or maintain web pages, coordinating with the webmaster and others, as appropriate.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Three (3) years of experience in commercial art, graphic
design or a related field.
Education: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Graphic Arts, Commercial Art, Commercial Design or a related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of and skill in using the principles of visual design (principally for publications and the Internet, but also for elementary exhibits and similar products), various media for informational and promotional purposes, and printing processes to effectively convey a subtle message or a theme in addition to straightforward routine or non-routine information. This includes (1) knowledge of best practices in overall design and design elements, such as typography, composition and layout, color, line, shape, mass and texture as well as balance, rhythm and proportion and their roles in visual communication, (2) knowledge of appropriate typographic specifications, such as type fonts, style, size, leading, kerning, spacing, alignment and line length, (3) skill in designing and composing page payouts using grid formats, headers, footers, folios, margins, columns and pagination, and (4) skill in selecting, scanning, cropping and scaling photographs, illustrations and other graphic images.
Skill in creative aesthetics to provide a quality artistic design.
Skill in problem solving to select, organize and logically process relevant information (verbal, numerical and ideational) to solve a problem, particularly in working through design problems to the design solution.
Skill in oral communication to understand verbal information (including instructions, descriptions and ideas) and to express such information verbally so that others will understand. Examples include exchanging information with customers or printers concerning customer wants, needs and graphics options, and developing and presenting informational and promotional visual information concerning operations, programs and services.
Skill in written information to understand written information (including instructions, descriptions and ideas) and to express such information in writing so that others will understand. One example is presenting verbal information in appealing artwork, which includes checking artwork or signage for proper spelling, basic grammar and other aspects of business English.
Interpersonal skills to interact effectively with personal contacts in a businesslike, customer service-oriented manner.
Skill in the use of a computer, web content management software, specialized graphics software and modern office software suites (particularly for scheduling, email and word processing).
Discretion and tact to work with sensitive information/issues.
Individuals appointed to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review + Full Vision Screen
Class Established: January, 1976
Revised: July, 1976
March, 1994 (M)
June, 2008 (M)