Graphics design uses visual compositions to solve problems and communicate ideas through typography, imagery, color, and form. There’s no one way to do that, and that’s why there are several types of graphics design, each with its own area of specialization.
Though they often overlap, each type of graphic design requires a specific set of skills and design techniques. Many designers specialize in a single type; others focus on a set of related, similar types. But because the industry is constantly changing, designers must be adaptable and lifelong learners so they can change or add specializations throughout their careers.
Whether you are an aspiring designer or seeking design services for your business, understanding the eight types of graphic design will help you find the right skills for the job.
- Visual identity graphic design
A brand is a relationship between a business or organization and its audience. A brand identity 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.
Designers that specialize in visual identity graphic design collaborate with brand stakeholders to create assets like logos, typography, color palettes, and image libraries that represent a brand’s personality. In addition to the standard business cards and corporate stationery, designers often develop a set of visual brand guidelines (style guides) that describe best practices and provide examples of visual branding applied across various media. These guidelines help to ensure brand consistency throughout future applications.
- Marketing & advertising graphic design
When most people think of graphic design, they think of designs created for marketing and advertising.
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, especially for use in content marketing and digital advertising.
Examples of marketing graphic design