The production designer is responsible for the overall look of a project. They direct the art department and set builders to turn their imagination into reality. Production design can be a crucial element to any major creative project as the visual elements often help bring the story to life. The production designer works closely with the director and producer to determine what they're hoping for with regard to the look of a film or television show. They draw up sketches or build conceptual models based on these conversations and upon receiving approval, they hire the crew necessary to make it a reality.
Skills & Education:
You should have basic design skills. Many of the most successful production designers have degrees in architecture or environmental design. These are by no means requirements for the job, but they help to give you a basic framework from which to start. Theatrical set design is another excellent background for this position.
Production designers need to be top notch communicators as well. They must be able to visually conceive something and then be able to accurately explain it to those who must physically build it. People skills are an absolute must for a production designer.
The best way to get started in a career as a production designer is to begin by working for one. You will get an accurate view of what the job entails as well as top notch training that will help you advance your career. Consider starting as a production assistant in an art department to get the ground floor experience you need. As you progress, you may want to take a job working on commercials, student films or even music videos to get yourself prepared to take on much larger projects.