Author: Janet Kathalu
Thursday, February 9, 2023

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

Many people have no idea about the roles of 2D artists in game design. I have done my research and highlighted my findings in this article. Learn the roles of a 2D artist in game design as you read on.

There are several roles of a 2D artist in designing a game; create the game's visuals, style the game's UI/UX design, develop appealing backgrounds, arrange the game's levels, and create character sprites. 

Read on to learn more about different kinds of 2D artists and their roles in game design. Also, learn about the crucial skills you should look out for in 2D artists regarding game design. 

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

2D artists in the game industry create art for several games and bring the game to life. Video games are played by persons of all ages and have become increasingly popular worldwide. The visual representation of a game is vital as it attracts the masses to play your game. 2D artists create different looks for a game. Some prefer realistic looks, while others go for more figurative looks.  

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

The artists create game designs from their imaginations, sketch out several arts and develop the best into a desirable form to make the game attractive. In most cases, 2D artists work alone but might involve a team if the project is enormous. Below are the roles that 2D artists play in designing games:

They create the visual style of a game

A game's visual design is the basics of game development and is always created first to meet the project's style and settings. 2D artists provide different styles they feel are suitable for the game, after which the development team evaluates the styles and chooses the most visually appealing ones. However, an artist can choose one scene in several visual designs. The most beautiful scene can also be used in the game's marketing before it is launched. This is an excellent strategy to assist in weighing ideas for the viability of the game. If your ad receives numerous visitors, it is time to send the concept to the production team.

They create character sprites

These are flat images in 2D video game graphics. Sprites appear as characters, animations, or as part of the background. 2D artists, to be more specific, sprite artists, create character sprites that are later put together to illustrate movement. They collaborate with concept artists to ensure the sprites align with the game's general design and function well. Several sprites are available for use, and you can identify the one best suits your specifications. For instance, in OpenGameArt, you'll discover more sprites. 

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

2D designers style the UI/UX of the game

The User Interface and User Experience are two different aspects of creating software and other digital items. UI design is responsible for the elements we can see and interact with, such as buttons, layouts, and menus. At the same time, UX is the feeling the customer has when using a product in terms of its simplicity. Gaming brands partner with 2D designers during the development phase to successfully promote their products in the market and increase their competitiveness. UI and UX designers ensure the game is easy to use, visually attractive, and satisfies the needs of the players. These are not professionals to miss on your team. 

2D background artists develop beautiful environments 

Background artists must have outstanding digital painting skills and a strong affection for colors, designs, and emotions of different scenes. They also aid in building gaming worlds by using digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop to develop colorful environmental layouts. 2D artists must be reliable enough to research and identify the latest trends and technologies in gaming and animation styles. 

They arrange the levels in the game

Level 2D artists develop the spaces to host the game and might use gaming engines like Unity to build the levels. They also consider how the levels are aligned with the game's style. The main aim of this is to entertain and ensure players have an excellent experience with the game. They introduce characters, explain the game's storyline, and initiate the player into the game's world. Afterward, they run tests on different levels to identify problems and make the required changes. A qualified level designer must meet the following skills:

  • Have vast knowledge of game layouts, levels, architecture, and other related areas.
  • Familiar with using UI design
  • Ability to pass a message visually
  • Have a good understanding of various programming concepts like scripting languages and technical implementation of the game. 

What Are the Skills of a 2D Game Artist?

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

2D game artists are qualified in different aspects of game creation. However, as their skills improve, they may focus on a particular area of interest. There are several areas game artists can specialize in, such as animation, character design, lighting, texturing, landscapes, and modeling. These artists are paid handsomely, considering their level of skills and the studio's size. When finding a 2D artist for your gaming project, ensure they have the following skills:

Ability to create animations

A talented 2D artist must have the ability to collaborate with other developers to build amazing animations for games. No matter the features and size of the game, a 2D artist should be able to create all the needed artwork to complete the game. They achieve this by creating character frames, cutscenes, and other necessary items to promote the narrative and enhance the visual representation of the characters. 

Good understanding of Maya

Autodesk Maya is a graphics program for creating models, styles, and characters for games and other media. It's one of the best and leading software in the game industries since the late 90s and is taught in institutions related to gaming crafts. With the aid of Maya, 2D artists must conceptualize and create terrain models by working with the game leader to produce excellent games. 

What Are the Roles of a 2D Artist in Designing a Game

Ability to develop graphic designs

Their prowess defines this in developing attractive visuals for assets in the game. Visual identification of the game is essential as it helps drive players into the game world. They create graphic images, typography animations, marketing campaign designs, and brand promotional items. They also find and illustrate artwork regarding editorial illustrators.

Effective communication

Communication is more than just speaking to people or writing messages. 2D game artists must learn how to correctly pass their ideas to the rest of the members without giving confusing or conflicting information. It would help if they also strategized the most effective way to communicate to their intended audience through game animation. Most importantly, they should take advantage of the game and use it as a tool for mass communication. 

Affection for video games

It's impossible to succeed in a profession you hate. As a 2D artist game designer, you must also be passionate about playing games. Surrounding yourself with video games will help you understand games in more depth, how they work, any necessary improvements, and the general game experience. It is also a plus when seeking a job, as you can show employers your dedication and passion for gaming. 


Becoming an expert as a 2D game artist, requires hard work, commitment, and the relevant skills and knowledge to create fascinating video games. If you want to hire a game 2D artist, you now know what their roles are and what you should look out for. For excellent 2D artist services in game designs, reach out to us. 

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