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Set and Exhibit Designers

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Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

    Work Activities
    • Prepare rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.
    • Read scripts to determine location, set, and design requirements.
    • Develop set designs, based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
    • Confer with clients and staff to gather information about exhibit space, proposed themes and content, timelines, budgets, materials, or promotion requirements.
    • Collaborate with those in charge of lighting and sound so that those production aspects can be coordinated with set designs or exhibit layouts.
    • Attend rehearsals and production meetings to obtain and share information related to sets.
    • Prepare preliminary renderings of proposed exhibits, including detailed construction, layout, and material specifications, and diagrams relating to aspects such as special effects or lighting.
    • Research architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for information, as necessary.
    • Select set props, such as furniture, pictures, lamps, and rugs.
    • Inspect installed exhibits for conformance to specifications and satisfactory operation of special-effects components.
    • Assign staff to complete design ideas and prepare sketches, illustrations, and detailed drawings of sets, or graphics and animation.
    • Examine objects to be included in exhibits to plan where and how to display them.
    • Observe sets during rehearsals in order to ensure that set elements do not interfere with performance aspects such as cast movement and camera angles.
    • Direct and coordinate construction, erection, or decoration activities to ensure that sets or exhibits meet design, budget, and schedule requirements.
    • Submit plans for approval, and adapt plans to serve intended purposes, or to conform to budget or fabrication restrictions.
    • Design and build scale models of set designs, or miniature sets used in filming backgrounds or special effects.
    • Plan for location-specific issues, such as space limitations, traffic flow patterns, and safety concerns.
    • Estimate set- or exhibit-related costs, including materials, construction, and rental of props or locations.
    • Select and purchase lumber and hardware necessary for set construction.
    • Coordinate the removal of sets, props, and exhibits after productions or events are complete.
    • Coordinate the transportation of sets that are built off-site, and coordinate their setup at the site of use.
    • Acquire, or arrange for acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to complete exhibits.
    • Design and produce displays and materials that can be used to decorate windows, interior displays, or event locations, such as streets and fairgrounds.
    • Confer with conservators to determine how to handle an exhibit's environmental aspects, such as lighting, temperature, and humidity, so that objects will be protected and exhibits will be enhanced.
    • Incorporate security systems into exhibit layouts.
    • Arrange for outside contractors to construct exhibit structures.
    • Provide supportive materials for exhibits and displays, such as press kits, advertising, publicity notices, posters, brochures, catalogues, and invitations.
    Skills
    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    6
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    5
    Abilities
    • Fluency of Ideas

      The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

    • Originality

      The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    Knowledge
    • Design

      Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    • Fine Arts

      Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video
    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop
    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary $48,070/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $23.11/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 470
    • Yearly Projected Openings 50
    Typical Education
    Personality
    Artistic: People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Initiative
    • Cooperation
    • Innovation
    • Stress Tolerance
    Tools
    • Sewing machines
    • Saws
    • Nylon fabric sling
    • Claw hammer
    • Alternating current AC arc welder
    Technology
    • Word processing software
    • Video creation and editing software
    • Presentation software
    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Computer aided design CAD software
    Tags
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.