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Before You See the Show, You See the Work of a Graphic Designer

Working in Theatre


Javier Vasquez installs lobby artwork at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Center Theatre Group Graphic Designer Javier Vasquez may be the person who introduced you to your new favorite show. After all, before you buy your tickets or even read a review, you’ve probably seen some kind of graphic—whether it’s a newspaper or digital advertisement, a street pole banner, or show art in a brochure. In our latest Working in Theatre video, Vasquez explains how he went from studying architecture to a career in graphic design, the collaboration and people skills the job requires, and why seeing people pose in front of a step-and-repeat banner at the theatre makes him happy.

Learn more about careers in graphic design:

  • What is graphic design? Read an article, including an introduction to jobs and job titles, at AIGA, the professional association for design.
  • Take a free online California Institute of the Arts class, Fundamentals of Graphic Design, with Coursera.
  • A lot of today’s design work is digital. Get a primer with a free introductory class from MIT, User Interface Design and Implementation. They provide a syllabus, exercises, lecture notes, and more.
  • Explore the Graphic Artists Guild, an organization devoted to equipping graphic and interactive designers, illustrators, animators, web programmers, and developers (and those studying these disciplines) with the skills and support needed to compete more effectively in an ever-changing field.
  • Check out Behance, an online platform that allows graphic designers to post and display their portfolios for prospective employers and search for jobs.
  • Take a short (anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours), free video tutorial to learn graphic design skills like hand-lettering, logo design, and Photoshop basics at Skillshare.
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