What is graphic design?

Today, the graphic design industry spans many different disciplines and specializations. It’s an exciting field that’s perpetually evolving, but its adaptive nature can make it a little confusing for a newcomer to understand exactly what graphic design is and what types of work professionals do.

If you’re looking for a guide to graphic design basics, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out precisely what graphic design website is, see some examples, and learn about different design jobs

Graphic design is a creative and visual communication discipline that involves the use of imagery, typography, and layout to convey information, ideas, and messages. 3DGraphic designers combine art and technology to create visually appealing and effective designs for various mediums, including print, digital, and multimedia.


Type of graphic design

1. Visual identity graphic design

  1. Visual identity design focuses on creating a consistent and memorable brand image. This includes the design of logos, business cards, letterheads, and other materials that establish a brand’s visual identity. Logos, in particular, serve as the cornerstone of a brand’s identity and are essential for brand recognition and differentiation

  2.  A brand is a relationship between a business or organization and its audience. A brand is how the organization communicates its personality, tone and essence, as well as memories, emotions and experiences. Visual identity graphic design is exactly that: the visual elements of brand identity that act as the face of a brand to communicate those intangible qualities through images, shapes and color.


2. Marketing & advertising graphic design

Advertising design focuses on creating visually appealing and persuasive materials for advertisements. It plays a critical role in promoting products, services, or causes across various media channels, including print, digital, and broadcast.

Companies depend on successful marketing efforts to tap into their target audience’s decision-making process. Great marketing engages people based on the wants, needs, awareness and satisfaction they have about a product, service or brand. Since people will always find visual content more engaging, graphic design helps organizations promote and communicate more effectively. 

Marketing designers work with company owners, directors, managers or marketing professionals to create assets for marketing strategies. They might work alone or as part of an in-house or creative team. Designers can specialize in a specific type of media (vehicle wraps or magazine ads, for example) or create a broad assortment of collateral for print, digital, and beyond. While traditionally print-centered, this type of design has grown to include more digital assets

3. User interface graphic design

A user interface (UI) is how a user interacts with a device or application. UI design is the process of designing interfaces to make them easy to use and provide a user-friendly experience.

A UI includes all of the things a user interacts with—the screen, keyboard and mouse—but in the context of graphic design, UI design focuses on the user’s visual experience and the design of on-screen graphic elements like buttons, menus, micro-interactions, and more. It’s a UI designer’s job to balance aesthetic appeal with technical functionality.


Examples of user interface graphic design

  • Web page design
  • Theme design (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)
  • Game interfaces
  • App design

4. Publication graphic design

Publication design traditionally refers to print medium– such as books, magazines, newspapers, etc. However, like many other subsets of graphic design, technological advances have led to new opportunities for its potential use. 

Digital publication design utilizes traditional elements of art such as color, typography, and space. Publication designers are able to thoughtfully combine these elements to create content that is able to be perceived visually, on a digital platform. This includes eBooks, email newsletters, magazine layouts, and more.

Most people who have a publication design job work for a publishing company, as a freelancer or as a part of a creative agency.

5. Packaging design

When you look on the shelves of any retailer, grocery store, etc., nearly every item comes in some sort of packaging. While this packaging serves as protection for merchandise, companies also recognize the opportunity that product packaging design presents.

Through strategically implementing color, shape, and typography, packaging becomes a way for companies to communicate their brand’s personality and story directly to their consumers.

Retail, makeup, and food packaging design are just a few of the countless industries where this style of design is a valuable marketing tool. Effective packaging design has the ability to give a product “shelf impact,” which can greatly boost sales for a company. For packaging designers, this means it is crucial to have a keen understanding of not only graphic design, but also successful product marketing tactics. 

Packaging design plays a critical role in the modern consumer-driven world. It is not merely a protective shell for products but a powerful tool for communication, branding, and differentiation. Effective packaging design combines aesthetics, functionality, and marketing strategy to create a compelling visual identity that resonates with the target audience. The choice of colors, typography, materials, and the arrangement of graphics on the packaging can evoke emotions, convey product information, and establish brand recognition. 

6. Motion design

Motion design is the generation of pieces of digital graphics, which create the illusion of motion or rotation. You can find traditional uses of motion design the opening of movies, television shows or news productions. Today, examples of motion design are found across all digital platforms, such as in GIFs, apps, website design, and more.

Within the last ten years, motion design has increased in popularity as our society continues to digitize. Technological advancements have given designers the opportunity to explore the value that this medium has to offer. Be sure to stay on top of the latest design trends to keep one step ahead of the competition.

If you’re not involved in the field of graphic design software, you must be asking yourself “what is motion design?” However, this fairly new graphic design style is much less confusing than its name suggests and has become a versatile style choice for graphic design art.

7. Environmental graphic design

Environmental graphic design embraces elements from multiple disciplines in order to connect people to the places they visit. This may sound idyllic, but by combining graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design, environmental graphic designers are able to enhance a person’s experience. Improvements are typically done by making the environment more memorable, informative, or easier to navigate.

Wayfinding, which includes signage or visual cues to indicate where people are and where they should be going, is the core purpose of environmental design. However, its uses go beyond that, such as acting as a communicator for organizations to tell a story or relay a meaningful message to visitors.

8. UI design

In a nutshell, user interface (UI) design focuses on the aesthetic and style of a user interface, whether it’s a hardware device (mouse, trackpad, keyboard, printer, and more) or a software application (app, browser, and more). 

UI designers are concerned with the layers of interaction that appeal to the human senses (sight, touch, hearing, and more). For UI graphic designers, every visual element that a user will potentially interact with must be thoughtfully designed to optimize an interface’s usability. These include screen graphic elements like buttons and menus

UI designers tend to adhere to certain design principles and usability to balance aesthetic appeal and functionality. Graphic design online who focus on UI design tend to specialize in web apps, mobile apps, and games. 

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