Graphic design and the different types of design
Graphic design is a discipline of using visual composition to solve a problem and express an idea using typography, images, colors, and shapes. There isn't just one way to do this and that's why there are several types of design, each with its own unique attributes.
Although they overlap, each type of graphic design calls for specific skills and techniques. Many graphic designers specialize in just one type of design. Others prefer to develop skills in several interrelated areas. But because this industry is constantly evolving, graphic designers must be able to adapt and learn new techniques every day, so as to change or add specialty areas to their offering
1. Visual identity
Visual identity is the set of graphic elements that identify a business or organization.
Graphic designers who specialize in visual identity design work with a brand's decision-makers to create a series of elements, such as a logo, typography, color palette, and image library that represent the personality of the brand. In addition to traditional business cards and other stationery, graphic designers are developing a graphic charter serving as a reference for all future graphic needs, on all communication channels. These guidelines help create a certain Graphic designer specializing in visual identity who should have a good general knowledge of all types of graphic design, in order to create elements that can be used across all channels. They should also have excellent interpersonal skills, good conceptualization skills, and a good creative sense, as well as a desire to reach people according to the industry, trends, and competition. consistency in the identity of the brand.
2. Marketing and advertising
When it comes to graphic design, most people think of it as designs created for marketing and advertising.
Businesses rely on the success of their marketing campaigns to influence the decisions of their target audience. Effective marketing engages people based on their wants, needs, knowledge, and satisfaction of a product, service, or brand. Since visual content is always more engaging than text alone, graphic designers help organizations promote themselves and communicate effectively.
Graphic designers specializing in marketing work with business directors, managers, and even marketers to create useful elements for their clients' marketing strategies. They sometimes work solo or are employed within a company and are part of a team. Graphic designers can specialize in a particular medium (advertising in magazines, advertising on vehicles, for example), or on the contrary work on all media, digital or not. If this type of graphics is traditionally focused on “print” designs, digital is now taking more and more place, especially when it comes to content marketing.
Examples of graphic design marketing
Postcards and flyers
Magazines and advertisements in the press
Posters, banners, and billboards
Brochures (print and digital)
Commercial signs and displays
Email marketing templates
Social media ads, banners, and graphics
Retargeting banners and ads
Images for blogs and websites
Marketing designers must have excellent relationship skills, know how to solve problems, and manage their time. In addition to mastering several types of graphic design, layout, and application interfaces, they should also be familiar with printing processes as well as with different digital environments. Entry-level positions in this field are a great way for graphic designers to learn about the different processes and gain solid skills and experience.
3. The user interface
User interface (UI) is the name given to describe the way users interact with a device or application. A graphic designer specializing in UI design designs interfaces to be easy and pleasant to use.
This includes everything that users interact with (screen, keyboard, mouse), but in the context of graphic design, it is mostly about the visual on-screen experience of users, i.e. buttons. , menus, micro-interactions, etc. The job of a UI designer is to find the right balance between aesthetics and functionality.
UI designers specialize in mobile apps, desktop apps, web apps, and games. They work closely with UX ("user experience") designers, who determine how applications work, as well as UI developers, who write the code to make the application work.
UI graphic design examples
Web page design
Theme design (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)
Publishing is an area generally associated with long, widely distributed publications. We will think in particular of all printed media: books, newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. However, digital publications have been enjoying some popularity for some time.
Graphic designers specializing in this fieldwork with publishers and publishing houses to create the layout of their publications, and choose the typography and any images that accompany the text. These can be photos, graphics, or illustrations. These graphic designers practice their profession as freelance, within an agency, or simply as employees of a publishing house.
Examples of graphic design editing
Graphic designers specializing in publishing must have excellent people skills, mastery of page layout, and be well organized. In addition to being true graphic design experts, they should have a good understanding of color, printing techniques, and digital publishing.
5. The packaging
Most products need packaging so that they can be stored, distributed, and sold. But packaging design can also be a great tool for communicating a whole lot of information to consumers, which makes it a great marketing tool! Each box, bottle, bag, can, and container represents an opportunity to tell the story of the brand.
Packaging designers find concepts, make mockups, and create ready-to-print files for product packaging. This requires advanced knowledge of printing techniques as well as a good understanding of manufacturing processes. Because packaging design brings together so many disciplines, it is common to see graphic designers specializing in this field also creating other elements, such as photographs, illustrations, or even complete visual identities.
Packaging designers are either extremely versatile, or on the contrary very specialized in a type of packaging (labels, or cans, for example) or in a sector of activity (agri-food, or children's toys, for example). Their work requires a great capacity for conceptualization, in addition to a very good knowledge of the printing and industrial design processes. They need to be flexible in order to accommodate their customers, marketers, manufacturers and always be on top of the latest trends.
6. The animation
To put it simply, animated graphics are graphics that are in motion. This of course includes animations, but also audio content, typography, images, video, and any other effect used online, in television, and in movies. The popularity of this field has exploded in recent years, with advancements in technology and the success of video content.
This area is fairly new to graphic designers. Initially reserved for television and cinema, new technologies have made it possible to reduce production time and costs, which has greatly contributed to the democratization of the discipline. Nowadays, you can find animations on all kinds of digital media, creating a new category of design with the opportunities that this presents.
Examples of animation design
Title sequences and end credits
Graphic designers in this field start by developing a storyboard, then bring their concept to life using animation, video, and more traditional art forms. Depending on the industry, having a solid knowledge
7. The environment
Design in the environment connects people to places in ways that enhance their experience, making places more memorable, interesting, informative, or just easier to navigate.
Examples of environmental design
Exhibitions in museums
Signage in public transport
Interior decoration of shops
Decoration of conference rooms or events
Signage is a type of environmental graphic design on its own. The idea is to define a signage strategy, with visual cues, so that users can identify where they are and where they are heading, with the minimum of confusion.
Graphic environmental design is a multidisciplinary practice that emerges from design, architecture, interior architecture, landscaping, and industrial design. Graphic designers work with a number of professionals in these industries to plan and implement their designs. For this reason, these graphic designers often have a dual competence in graphic design and architecture. They should be familiar with the principles of industrial design and able to sketch architectural plans.
Traditionally, environmental design has been the source of many static signs. But the digital age means that we are seeing more and more digital signs, creating an experience that is all the more engaging.
8. Art and illustration
The field of art and illustration is often seen as equivalent to graphic design. However, these two areas are very different from each other. Graphic designers create compositions to communicate and solve problems. Artists and illustrators create original works. Their art takes many forms, whether it is fine art, decoration, or text illustration.
Even though graphic art and illustrations are not technically types of graphic design, the two fields are so
Examples of art and illustration in graphic design
Patterns for fabrics
Concepts are related to each other so it is difficult to talk about one without referring to the other.
Graphic artists use any combination of media and techniques to create, and collaborate with writers, editors, managers, marketers, and creative directors, in all types of graphic design. They often have a good foundation in the arts, animation, and architecture. Since these disciplines share skills, it is quite possible to find graphic designers who also work as artists or illustrators and vice versa.
Choose the right type of graphic design for your project
Graphic design is an ever-evolving field and the demand for skilled and specialized professionals is increasing. But when looking for the right person to do your project, it's important to know the different types of graphic design to help you identify the graphic designer you need.