Commercial art

Commercial art is the art of creative services, referring to art created for commercial purposes, primarily advertising. Commercial art uses a variety of platforms (magazines, websites, apps, television, etc.) for viewers with the intent of promoting sale and interest of products, services, and ideas.[1] It relies on the iconic image (pictorial representations that are recognized easily to members of a culture) to enhance recall and favorable recognition for a product or service.[2] An example of a product could be a magazine ad promoting a new soda through complimentary colors, a catchy message, and appealing illustrative features.[3] Another example could be promoting the prevention of global warming by encouraging people to walk or ride a bike instead of driving in an eye catching poster. It communicates something specific to an audience.

People can obtain training, certifications, and degrees that incorporate commercial arts in many exercises, activities, and programs.

Holland-Amerika Lijn 1898
An 1898 poster by Jan Van Beers.

Skills of Commercial Art

Commercial artists have the ability to organize information and knowledge of fine arts, visualization and media in a way to reach an audience's attention. Some of these skills may include the following:[1][3]

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Experience or skills in the fine arts (drawing, painting, photography, etc.)
  • Knowledgeable of certain computer software programs (graphics, editing, etc.) and ability to use them
  • Marketing skills
  • Advertising skills
  • Coordination skills
  • Animation skills


Commercial art can include many genres of art and categories of art technique, including:[4]

Consumerism within Commercial Art

Commercial art is art that is created for commercial purposes to promote services, products, and ideas to viewers.[1] In the process of creating commercial art, an audience is taken into consideration when designing and/or forming the goods that are being advertised/promoted. An example of this can be seen in the recognized works of American painter and consumer ad designer, Andy Warhol.[5] Using Campbell's soup and Coca-Cola bottles as everyday products of consumers, he recreated a visually stimulating design through pop art that advertises the products through consumption habits of consumers.[5] Consumerism was present when pop art was popular. Pop art could contain mass cultural objects and/or celebrities (popular culture and mass media) to endorse markets and goods.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "What is Commercial Art?". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  2. ^ C., Woodward, Gary. Persuasion and influence in American life. Denton, Robert E., Jr. (Seventh ed.). Long Grove, Illinois. ISBN 9781478607892. OCLC 879527515.
  3. ^ a b "Commercial Artist: Job Description & Career Information". Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. ^ "11 Types Of Commercial Art". Simplicable. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  5. ^ a b "Andy Warhol Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works". The Art Story. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  6. ^ "Pop Art Movement, Artists and Major Works". The Art Story. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
Alan E. Cober

Alan E. Cober (1935–1998) was an American illustrator. His artwork appeared in The New York Times, Life, and Time. He also illustrated a series of children's books, called Cober's Animals.

Cober was born in New York City, and attended the University of Vermont and the School of Visual Arts. While working as an illustrator for over 30 years, he also taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Georgia, and the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

According to the New York Times, "Mr. Cober was one of a small group of American illustrators who injected the precepts of modern art into commercial art. His magazine illustrations rejected realistic painting for expressive and symbolic drawing and water-color rendering. They did not mimic a passage of a text, as was the convention, but complemented it with interpretation."In addition to his commercial editorial work, Cober filled many sketchbooks with drawings and paintings. His drawings of institutionalized people (prisoners, the mentally disabled and the elderly) were compiled into a book called The Forgotten Society (Dover Books, 1972). An exhibition of his work, titled Alan E. Cober: A Retrospective Afterlife, was organized by the Ringling School and appeared at the University at Buffalo.In 1998, Cober died of a heart attack while swimming on vacation in Florida.

In 2011, Cober was posthumously inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame for lifetime achievements in illustration.

Art dealer

An art dealer is a person or company that buys and sells works of art. Art dealers' professional associations serve to set high standards for accreditation or membership and to support art exhibitions and shows.

Art museum

An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although primarily concerned with visual art, art galleries are often used as a venue for other cultural exchanges and artistic activities, such as performance arts, music concerts, or poetry readings. Art museums also frequently host themed temporary exhibitions which often include items on loan from other collections.

In distinction to a commercial art gallery, run by an art dealer, the primary purpose of an art museum is not the sale of the items on show.

Bell Features

Bell Features, also known as Commercial Signs of Canada, was a Canadian comic book publisher during the World War II era. They were the most successful of the publishers of "Canadian Whites", and published comics such as Adrian Dingle's Nelvana of the Northern Lights.

Founded in 1939 as a commercial art business, the company found success when it started publishing comics in September 1941, and changed its name to Bell Features in 1942. It folded in 1953 under increasing competition from American publishers.

Bradley Lord

Bradley Lord (August 22, 1939 – February 15, 1961) was an American figure skater who competed in men's singles. He finished fourth at the 1960 United States Figure Skating Championships and then placed sixth at that year's World Figure Skating Championships after the top three U.S. skaters skipped the event. The following year, he won the gold medal at the 1961 United States Figure Skating Championships and placed second at the 1961 North American Figure Skating Championships.

Lord was en route to the World Championships in 1961 when his plane (Sabena Flight 548) crashed near Brussels, Belgium, killing all on board.

Lord trained with coach Montgomery Wilson at the Skating Club of Boston.

Away from the ice, Lord attended Boston University and wanted to pursue a career in commercial art.

Church Street, Monmouth

Church Street is a pedestrianised street in the centre of Monmouth, Wales. It now contains a variety of independent shops, restaurants, commercial art galleries, and the Savoy Theatre. Until the 1830s, when Priory Street was built to bypass it, it was the main thoroughfare into the centre of Monmouth from the north-east, linking the market and the parish church. It was at one time the centre of the town's butchery trade and was known as Butcher's Row.

Ed Furness

Ed Furness (1911–2005) was a Canadian comic book artist associated with the "Canadian Whites", Canadian comic books published during World War II.

Furness, originally from the United Kingdom, grew up in Dunnville, Ontario. Furness graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1933, and after a few years of working as an illustrator he was hired by Anglo-American Publishing to produce comic book stories for their burgeoning line of comics. In 1941, Furness, along with writer Ted McCall created the character of Freelance for Anglo-American's Freelance Comics. Furness also drew Commander Steele in Grand Slam Comics from 1941 and many other comic book stories, eventually becoming the lead artist for Anglo-American Publishing.

The War Measures Conservation Act ended in 1946, and reopened the distribution of American comic books in Canada again, which led to the end to many Canadian comic book publishers. Anglo-American made one last-ditch effort to distribute their periodicals in the United States in color and failed.

Anglo-American Publishing shut down production in 1956. Furness went on to do commercial art and landscape painting.

Ed Furness was one of five comic book creators inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame in April 2005.

Entertainment robot

An entertainment robot is, as the name indicates, a robot that is not made for utilitarian use, as in production or domestic services, but for the sole subjective pleasure of the human. It serves, usually the owner or his housemates, guests or clients. Robotics technologies are applied in many areas of culture and entertainment.

Expensive robotics are applied to the creation of narrative environments in commercial venues where servo motors, pneumatics and hydraulic actuators are used to create movement with often preprogrammed responsive behaviors such as in Disneyland's haunted house ride.

Entertainment robots can also be seen in the context of media arts where artist have been employing advanced technologies to create environments and artistic expression also utilizing the actuators and sensor to allow their robots to react and change in relation to viewers.

Fairlie–Poplar, Atlanta

The Fairlie–Poplar Historic District is part of the central business district in downtown Atlanta. It is named for the two streets that cross at its center, northeast-only Fairlie and southeast-only Poplar. Fairlie–Poplar is immediately north of Five Points, the definitive centerpoint and longtime commercial heart of Atlanta. It is roughly bounded on the southwest by Marietta Street, on the southeast by Peachtree Street or Park Place, on the northeast by Luckie Street or Williams Street, and on the northwest by Cone Street or Spring Street. It has smaller city blocks than the rest of the city (about half by half), and the streets run at a 40° diagonal.

Fairlie–Poplar contains many commercial and office buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Local interpretations of prevailing national architectural styles, including Chicago, Renaissance revival, neoclassical, commercial, art deco, Georgian revival, and Victorian styles, are found here. The buildings of the district also represent the shift in building technology from load-bearing masonry and timber walls to steel and concrete framing. Individual buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places that lie within the Fairlie–Poplar Historic District include the Flatiron Building, Rhodes-Haverty Building, the Empire/C&S Building, the Healey Building, the Prudential/W.D. Grant Building, the Retail Credit Company Home Office Building, the Elbert P. Tuttle United States Court of Appeals Building.

Franklin Carmichael

Franklin Carmichael (May 4, 1890 – October 24, 1945) was a Canadian artist and member of the Group of Seven. Though he was primarily famous for his use of watercolours, he also used oil paints, charcoal and other mediums to capture the Ontario landscapes of which he was fond. Besides his work as a painter, he worked as a designer and illustrator, creating promotional brochures, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and stylizing books. Near the end of his life, Carmichael taught in the Graphic Design and Commercial Art Department at the Ontario College of Art (today the Ontario College of Art and Design).

The youngest original member of the Group of Seven, Carmichael often found himself socially on the outside of the group. Despite this, the art he produced was of equal measure in terms of style and approach to the other member's contributions, vividly expressing his spiritual views through his art.

FusionArts Museums

FusionArts Museum(s), first founded at 57 Stanton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side are a series of curated exhibition spaces dedicated to the exhibition and archiving of "fusion art". The museum was and remains at its successive locations a not-for-profit gallery operated by Converging Arts Media Organization, a not-for-profit arts organization which promotes emerging American and international fusion artists. Though the initial space in Manhattan was converted into a commercial art gallery in 2012 and is currently not operating as a Fusionarts museum, other spaces in Prague, Czech, Republic and Easton, Pennsylvania are.


A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author. Celebrities, executives, participants in timely news stories, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, memoirs, magazine articles, or other written material. In music, ghostwriters are often used to write songs, lyrics, and instrumental pieces. Screenplay authors can also use ghostwriters to either edit or rewrite their scripts to improve them.

Usually, there is a confidentiality clause in the contract between the ghostwriter and the credited author that obligates the former to remain anonymous. Sometimes the ghostwriter is acknowledged by the author or publisher for his or her writing services, euphemistically called a "researcher" or "research assistant", but often the ghostwriter is not credited.

Ghostwriting (or simply "ghosting") also occurs in other creative fields. Composers have long hired ghostwriters to help them to write musical pieces and songs; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example of a well-known composer who was paid to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons. Ghosting also occurs in popular music. A pop music ghostwriter writes lyrics and a melody in the style of the credited musician. In hip hop music, the increasing use of ghostwriters by high-profile hip-hop stars has led to controversy. In the visual arts, it is not uncommon in either fine art or commercial art such as comics for a number of assistants to do work on a piece that is credited to a single artist. However, when credit is established for the writer, the acknowledgement of their contribution is public domain and the writer in question would not be considered a ghostwriter.

Gregor Muir

Gregor Muir is Director of Collection, International Art, at Tate (based at Tate Modern), having previously been the Executive Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 2011 until 2016. He was previously director of the commercial art gallery Hauser & Wirth, in London (196A Piccadilly). He is author of the 2009 memoir Lucky Kunst, in which he recalls experiences in the YBA art scene and life in 1990s London.

Jack Rickard

For Jack Rickard who edited Boardwatch magazine, see Boardwatch

Jack Rickard (March 8, 1922 – July 22, 1983), was an American illustrator for numerous advertising campaigns and multiple comic strips, but was best known as a key contributor to Mad for more than two decades. Rickard's artwork appeared in more than 175 Mad issues, including 35 covers; he also illustrated sixteen Madpaperback covers.

After attending the Rochester Institute of Technology on an art scholarship, Rickard did commercial art for Chaite Studios in the 1950s. He illustrated covers for "men's magazines" such as "Adventure" and "True Detective", contributed to Charlton Comics and worked as an assistant on the Li'l Abner comic strip. Soon after, he became a mainstay in the advertising field, where his work attracted the attention of Mad's editors. He began illustrating for the humor magazine in 1961, and remained a regular until his death from cancer 22 years later.

John A. Ruthven

John Aldrich Ruthven (born November 12, 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American artist best known for his paintings of wildlife.

After serving in the U.S. military in World War II, Ruthven opened a commercial art studio in Cincinnati. His work for clients included the Play-Doh Boy, used in that product's original 1950s advertising. Ruthven's focus, however, was on wildlife painting in the style of John James Audubon. In 1960, his painting "Redhead Ducks" won the Federal Duck Stamp competition.

Ruthven's wildlife paintings are on display at many museums including the Smithsonian Institution, and his work was featured in a 1994 retrospective at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. He designed two pigs for Cincinnati's Big Pig Gig in 2000. Other artwork include a Passenger pigeon mural on the wall of a six-story building in Cincinnati which can be seen in the 2014 documentary From Billions To None by David Mrazek and Joel Greenberg. The mural is located at 15 8th Street.Ruthven was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2004. He now lives on a farm near Georgetown, Ohio.

Robert Fawcett

Robert Fawcett (1903–1967) was an English artist. He was trained as a fine artist but achieved fame as an illustrator of books and magazines.

Born in England, he grew up in Canada and later in New York. His father, an amateur artist, encouraged Robert's interest in art. While in Canada, he was apprenticed to an engraver. He attended the Slade School of Art in London, then returned to the United States to pursue a career in fine arts, although he had to work as a commercial artist to support himself. He soon became disenchanted with the poor pay and political infighting of the fine arts world and decided to commit himself to commercial art, where he was successful. He was the author of On the Art of Drawing.

As he was slightly color blind, Fawcett did not excel as a painter, but he was an excellent draftsman and designer, with a strong eye for detail. He produced story illustrations and full-page ads that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Holiday, and Cosmopolitan bringing a superb sense of composition to his advertisement work. His work for Collier's magazine included detailed illustrations accompanying a series of Sherlock Holmes stories. He later produced documentary-type illustrations for Look. In 1948, Fawcett was recruited by Albert Dorne to be one of the founding artists at the Famous Artists School. In 1964, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

Tang's Gallery

Tang's Gallery is a commercial art gallery in Pathum Wan District, Bangkok, Thailand.

Founded in 2001, the Tang gallery specialises in Chinese contemporary art. It has a display area of 330 square metres, exhibiting a wide range of forms of Chinese art ranging from landscapes, portraits, abstract, oil, acrylic, and watercolour paintings to painted photography, woodcuts, sculptures, and prints.

Tim Kirk

Tim Kirk is both a professional artist and an American fan artist. He worked as a senior designer at Tokyo DisneySea, as an Imagineer for Walt Disney, and during the mid-1970s, he was an illustrator at Kansas City's Hallmark Cards. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Commercial Art, and his Master’s Degree in Illustration from California State University, Long Beach. His thesis project consisted of a series of paintings for The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; 13 of these were published by Ballantine Books as the 1975 Tolkien Calendar. Today, Kirk runs Kirk Design, Inc., a design firm in the Los Angeles, California area. He also sits on the advisory board of Seattle's Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

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