Saturday – October 20, 2018

Production Artist (2017-2018)

Technical Diploma
School of Media and Creative Arts / Arts, A/V Technology & Communications Career Cluster

Downtown Milwaukee Campus
Program Code: 31-201-2

For Information: 414-297-6433
Downtown Milwaukee Campus, 414-297-MATC

Overview — Gain the technical and computer skills in industry-recognized software required for entering the graphic design field. 

Through this one-year program, you will learn the skills necessary to prepare designs, layouts and make modifications according to production standards. Technical duties may include scaling, cropping, retouching, repositioning and more. Upon completing this program, students will prepare an initial portfolio of work to show potential employers.

Career Pathway — After earning this technical diploma, your credits can be applied toward completing the Graphic Design associate degree. Contact an MATC advisor for information.

Career Outlook — Production artists work in the creative industry and use their technical skills to ensure that the finished design work meets the client's expectations. They are typically the last people to work on a project before it is published.

A print production artist takes a designer's comprehensive, better known as a "comp" (which could be an incomplete electronic file, a collection of images, or even a hand-drawn sketch), and creates a mechanical – a complete digital file or combination of files that's problem-free when it goes out to the printer or web/e-delivery.

This growing segment of the industry offers an entry into a variety of careers.

View gainful employment data about this program

Program Learning Outcomes — Employers will expect graduates to:

  • Enter, store, and retrieve information using computer software
  • Operate Adobe Creative Suite and other industry-recognized software
  • Position text and art elements in a visually appealing way for print and/or digital media
  • Utilize typographic fundamentals to select fonts, composition, kerning, leading and tensions according to industry-recognized best practices
  • Demonstrate knowledge of aesthetics, composition and type handling
  • Develop and/or adapt graphics for digital and print media with proper file format including jpg, tiff, png, eps, psd, ai, pdf, indd and idml
  • Manage and apply proper color systems including spot colors, RGB and CMYK
  • Designate and adapt/change spot colors from RGB or CMYK to Pantone specific colors for print
  • Prepare files for press, including trim, bleed and crop marks, links and fonts
  • Set up column structure and styles for large documents

Admission Requirements — The following are required for admission to the program:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Demonstration of proficiency in basic skills through a course placement assessment


Possible Careers
Production Artist
Pre-Press Technician

Related Programs
Graphic Design
Creative Advertising Strategist
Web & Digital Media Design


Start Dates: August/January

Curriculum effective 2017-18. 

Current MATC students should consult their Academic Program Plan for specific curriculum requirements. 

( ) = Semester Order for Full-Time Students.





(1)  GRDS-103

Design Elements and Principles



(1)  GRDS-107

Digital Imaging: Adobe Photoshop



(1)  GRDS-115

Typographic Fundamentals



(1)  GRDS-122

Vector Graphics: Adobe Illustrator



(1)  ENG-151

Communication Skills 1 ‡


  (or) ENG-201 English 1 ‡

(2) GRDS-128

Portfolio Pathway



(2) GRDS-110

Layout and Publishing: InDesign ‡



(2) GRDS-111

Advertising Design ‡



(2) GRDS-117

Packaging Design ‡



(2) GRDS-104

Research and Concepting ‡





‡ Prerequisite required.

Program curriculum requirements are subject to change.

For course descriptions, times, locations or to register online, visit INFOnline.

Current MATC students should consult their Academic Program Plan for specific curriculum requirements.

Page updated March 2017.