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The Different Types of Graphic Design Explained

October 20th, 2021
By Hayley Fogleman

Graphic design is a specialized form of communication that relies on imagery, color, typography, and style to present ideas and tell a story. There are eight different kinds of graphic design, and it’s important to understand how they work and what makes each option a valuable asset for marketing. Let’s take a closer look!

 

Visual Identity Graphic Design

Visual identity design refers to a brand message that is used to create a memorable image. For example, a company logo serves as a visual identifier for a specific brand. Through visual identity graphic design, businesses set the tone for their audience using shapes, colors, and more. A professional that specializes in this type of design will work with clients to develop unique typography, colors, and images for visual branding.

 

User Interface (UI) Graphic Design

As the name suggests, this type of design professional specializes in creating designs for devices or apps. Their goal is to develop a memorable and streamlined environment for the end-user. A UI graphic designer will create online elements like buttons that enhance the user experience.

 

Publication Graphic Design

Publication graphic design deals with more traditional layouts such as books, magazines, and catalogs. Someone in this field might also work on digital publishing options such as an eBook. Publication designers create products for publishing houses, authors, and digital media outlets. They may also work with corporations to design annual reports, stockholder media, and directories.

 

Marketing and Advertising Graphic Design

Someone with this specialization will focus on specific types of media, such as print or digital, to create marketing assets. These include postcards, banners, billboards, and vehicle wraps. In the digital space, this refers to social media graphics, online advertisements, web banners, and more.

 

Motion Graphic Design

Motion graphics involve anything that moves, such as a digital animation or video. The internet has led to an expansion in this very specialized field, which was once strictly applied to TV and film. Today, you can find motion graphic work on social media platforms, websites, and even billboards.

 

Packaging Graphic Design

This type of graphic designer creates packages that not only enclose and protect products but also communicate a unique, branded message. Packaging designers work with bags, bottles, boxes, cans, and more. They typically build mockups that help clients visualize the design concept, and their work often translates into other areas of graphic design, as well. For example, a designer might create imagery for a package that also works for other marketing assets, such as a print ad. Additionally, packaging designers often must work with the company’s current branding, maintaining the same color schemes, fonts, and imagery that are found on the brand’s social media accounts and website.

 

Art and Illustration for Graphic Design

Art and illustration are often part of the overall design process. Brands might use an illustrator or artist to create t-shirts, graphic novels, or video games, for example. These professionals might also create original art for books, brochures, and websites. Art and graphic design tend to go hand-in-hand, although they are considered to be different specialties.

 

Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental graphic design works with walls, signs, advertisements, and exhibits to make spaces more memorable and engaging. Often, this type of designer utilizes the entire area, creating visual cues that provide direction or information. This is a specialty that combines graphics with architectural, interior, and landscape design.

Graphic design is a specialized form of communication that relies on imagery, color, typography, and style to present ideas and tell a story. There are eight different kinds of graphic design, and it’s important to understand how they work and what makes each option a valuable asset for marketing. Let’s take a closer look!

VISUAL IDENTITY GRAPHIC DESIGN

Visual identity design refers to a brand message that is used to create a memorable image. For example, a company logo serves as a visual identifier for a specific brand. Through visual identity graphic design, businesses set the tone for their audience using shapes, colors, and more. A professional that specializes in this type of design will work with clients to develop unique typography, colors, and images for visual branding.

 

USER INTERFACE (UI) GRAPHIC DESIGN

As the name suggests, this type of design professional specializes in creating designs for devices or apps. Their goal is to develop a memorable and streamlined environment for the end-user. A UI graphic designer will create online elements like buttons that enhance the user experience.

 

PUBLICATION GRAPHIC DESIGN

Publication graphic design deals with more traditional layouts such as books, magazines, and catalogs. Someone in this field might also work on digital publishing options such as an eBook. Publication designers create products for publishing houses, authors, and digital media outlets. They may also work with corporations to design annual reports, stockholder media, and directories.

 

MARKETING AND ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGN

Someone with this specialization will focus on specific types of media, such as print or digital, to create marketing assets. These include postcards, banners, billboards, and vehicle wraps. In the digital space, this refers to social media graphics, online advertisements, web banners, and more.

 

MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGN

Motion graphics involve anything that moves, such as a digital animation or video. The internet has led to an expansion in this very specialized field, which was once strictly applied to TV and film. Today, you can find motion graphic work on social media platforms, websites, and even billboards.

 

PACKAGING GRAPHIC DESIGN

This type of graphic designer creates packages that not only enclose and protect products but also communicate a unique, branded message. Packaging designers work with bags, bottles, boxes, cans, and more. They typically build mockups that help clients visualize the design concept, and their work often translates into other areas of graphic design, as well. For example, a designer might create imagery for a package that also works for other marketing assets, such as a print ad. Additionally, packaging designers often must work with the company’s current branding, maintaining the same color schemes, fonts, and imagery that are found on the brand’s social media accounts and website.

 

ART AND ILLUSTRATION FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN

Art and illustration are often part of the overall design process. Brands might use an illustrator or artist to create t-shirts, graphic novels, or video games, for example. These professionals might also create original art for books, brochures, and websites. Art and graphic design tend to go hand-in-hand, although they are considered to be different specialties.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN

Environmental graphic design works with walls, signs, advertisements, and exhibits to make spaces more memorable and engaging. Often, this type of designer utilizes the entire area, creating visual cues that provide direction or information. This is a specialty that combines graphics with architectural, interior, and landscape design.

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