Building your brand: Architects vs. Carpenters

A lot goes into building your brand, and one of the more visible parts of your brand is the collateral you put in front of your customers. While we at Six Degrees are experts at every level of brand building, from research and strategy to design and production, our creative team is particularly suited to helping you with your visual identity.

Several people are involved in creating the ads, flyers, brochures, and digital artwork we provide to our clients daily, and as a client, you’ll get to know their names, and likely, their titles. But you may be wondering what those titles actually mean. For instance, what’s the difference between designers and production artists? Both positions are creative, and both use a computer to create the work you see. But there’s a distinct difference between them, specifically their area of focus.

Think of it as building a home. You have an architect that helps you create your home on paper and a carpenter that builds it. Both play an integral part.

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Our designers serve as the architects. They work with our account service team and clients to design the best-looking house based on your specific lifestyle. They take into consideration your current and future needs to develop something visually appealing and distinctly “you.”

Production artists, on the other hand, are focused specifically on taking the blueprints of that dream home and making it a reality. They’re the carpenters of your visual brand. The house may look great on paper, but when you get to the stage of pounding nails, they need to have a deep understanding of how to make it structurally sound while keeping the architect’s vision in mind.

While our designers are constantly striving to create the best-looking work, production artists use a highly technical skillset to ensure that those brochures or posters they’re working on can be produced as intended. Production artists lend their expertise to the process with photo retouching, color correcting, type kerning, ad resizing and much more.

If the designer envisions a huge open floor plan for your home, it’s the production artist’s job to make sure the walls are where they’re supposed to be, and that the ceiling doesn’t cave in. They make sure the paint is applied evenly and in the correct color, and they’re responsible for making sure every door has a handle.

As with building a home, building your digital files can be a messy job, but it’s the production artist that makes sure everything is just perfect for move-in day.

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James Dempsey
Originally from Cleveland, James moved to Phoenix before high school and, except for a few years spent in Nevada, has lived in the Valley of the Sun ever since. James has worked in graphic design and production for his entire professional career, both client-side and agency-side. Over his career, he has won awards as well as hired, trained, and mentored many creative professionals and marketing managers. At Six Degrees, James enriches and supports our creative product at every stage of development.

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