Multimedia jobs and roles by Matt Ottewill

The Multimedia and New Media industries cover a wide range of activities. Careers in these industries include ...

  • Project managers All new media projects require close managing of time and resources. It is a project managers job to co-ordinate the efforts of a team of specialists towards a the successful completion of a project. They will also liaise between members of the design team and the client. A project manager will ... Oversee deadlines, ensure design guidelines are followed, setup clear lines of communication between project workers, arrange meetings, delegate tasks, organise the budget, liase with the client, ensure there is no duplication of work, clear copyrights etc. More here

  • Web site designers / Graphic designers / Art directors These visual designers may not have the strongest of technical skills but they will have design abilities and will be concerned with designing the look, style and aesthetic aspects of a site. They will define the guidelines for the layout of pages, styling of text, navigation structures and devices etc which the web site builders will follow.

  • Web site builders The building of web sites requires designers to be aware of the different technologies and to employ the one most appropriate for the job at hand. Typically a web designer will have a strong understanding of ... HTML, CSS, DHTML, XML, JavaScript, ActionScript, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver etc

  • Multimedia authors They will be expert in an authoring application (such as Director or Flash) and will be involved in the building of complete CD/DVD-ROMs and the interactive parts of web sites.

  • Programmers Programmers write the code which allows complex interaction to take place between computer and end-user. these are the highest paid workers. Jobs include ... games design, web sites, interactive CD-ROM programming etc. Programmers will use technologies such as Java, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, ASP etc

  • Copy writers They write the text that appears on screen and the scripts for any spoken work audio or video clips.

  • Photographers / image creators They will be involved in creating, sourcing and editing the still images required for a project.

  • Illustrators will create original illustrations

  • Image designers / editors will manipulate, edit and optimise images ready to be integrated into video, website's and multimedia projects.

  • Video producers Including directors, camera workers, set designers, lighting designers. editors etc. They will understand the technical and aesthetic processes of video production and the technical formats and standards for delivering it on removable media (CDROMs, DVDs etc) and over networks.

  • Sound design They will be responsible for creating sound FX and editing music to accompany projects.

  • Music composers They will write music to a specific brief.

  • 3D animators 3D development has expanded quickly over the last few years. The best career opportunities are in the games industry which so far has not been damaged by changes in the world's economy. Jobs include, model designers, animators and programmers.

Types of companies

There are a range of environments in which New media development occurs but they fall into 4 broad categories ...

  • Printers
  • Design / New Media companies
  • In-house design departments
  • Specialist production companies
  • Self employed

1. Print & repro companies

These are companies that actually produce finished products such as ...

  • Printers. They often have designers who help clients with their artwork. Use Yellow pages to find them. They are often sited on industrial parks.

  • High street print / photocopy shops also employ designers.

  • Marketing companies producing promotional items like flyers and posters.

You can find these companies through local business and phone directories such as Thompson Local and Yellow Pages.

2. Design / new media companies

These are companies who specialize in liaising with a client and overseeing the design and production of a project. Some of the work will be handled in house while more specialists tasks may be sub-contracted to specialists companies. Here are some of the types of company who handle this work ...

  • Graphic design companies: Traditionally handled the design and oversee production of print materials, many are now designing web sites and interactive multimedia.

  • New Media design: Essential graphic designers for the digital age, they do not normally handel print work.

  • Advertising agencies: Big companies who service all the marketing needs of large companies and corporations.

  • Educational developers / distant learning: There are a growing number of companies specialising in the development of CDROM and on-line distance learning resources.

3. In-house design departments

Many companies and organisations will be large enough to have their own new media / design departments. Such companies include ...

  • Large commercial companies / corporations Designers build and maintain corporate intranets and web sites for companies such as British Telecom and EMI.

    Retail chains Companies such as Richer Sounds, Virgin, Marks & Spencer, Next etc, have in house design departments creating their web sites and printed marketing materials.

  • Magazine publishers Often produce cover CDROMs and will have accompanying web sites. Check out your favourite magazine's website.

  • Book / CDROM publishers Interactive CDROMs and web sites are important parts of a modern publishers activities.

  • Record companies Design departments handle the creation of CD inlays, posters, artist web sites, CDROMs etc

  • Film production companies Marketing departments are adept at promoting and publishing new film productions with web sites and magazine adverts.

  • Internet businesses Will have their own in-house designers maintaining their sites.

  • Museums and art galleries Larger institutions will have in-house design departments creating materials for the promotion and marketing department and gallery displays and kiosks.

  • Games publishers

  • Government agencies and departments

  • Colleges & universities

4. Specialist production companies

Specialists production companies provide specialist services to design / new media companies. These include ...

  • Film / video production companies.
  • Mastering companies - Prepare DVD and CDROM projects ready for duplication in a factory
  • 3D production companies
  • Sound / music production studios
  • Photography
  • Game design companies