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Graphic design is a notion for defining a visual communication tool. In other words, this is a sort of craft which helps individuals create content of different quality and complexity levels by using multiple page layout and perspective hierarchy techniques.

Such an approach involves applying raster or even vector images, as well as typography means to satisfy consumers’ objectives and requirements. At the same time, the focus is still on the logical and harmonic displaying of the project’s elements in order to boost end users’ experience.

The 8 fundamental types of graphic design are:

1. Visual identity graphic design

A brand is a relationship between a business or organization and its audience. 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 Visual identity design is one of the most common types of design. 

2. 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. 

Examples of marketing graphic design

  • Postcards and flyers
  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Posters, banners and billboards
  • Infographics
  • Brochures (print and digital)
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Signage and trade show displays
  • Email marketing templates
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Menus
  • Social media ads, banners and graphics
  • Banner and retargeting ads
  • Images for websites and blogs

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.

UI designers specialize in desktop apps, mobile apps, web apps and games. They work closely with UX (user experience) designers (who determine how the app works) and UI developers (who write code to make it work).

Examples of user interface graphic design

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

UI designers must be team players backed by both serious graphic design skills and an excellent understanding of UI/UX principles, responsive design and web development. In addition to graphics apps, they need knowledge of programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

4. Publication graphic design

Publications are long-form pieces that communicate with an audience through public distribution. They have traditionally been a print medium. Publication design is a classic type of design—think books, newspapers, magazines and catalogs. However, there’s recently been a significant rise in digital publishing.

Examples of publication graphic design

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Newsletters
  • Directories
  • Annual reports
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs

5. Packaging graphic design

Most products require some form of packaging to protect and prepare them for storage, distribution, and sale. But packaging design can also communicate directly to consumers, which makes it an extremely valuable marketing tool. Every box, bottle and bag, every can, container, or canister is a chance tell the story of a brand.

Packaging designers create concepts, develop mockups and create the print-ready files for a product. This requires expert knowledge of print processes and a keen understanding of industrial design and manufacturing. Because packaging design touches so many disciplines, it’s not uncommon for designers to find themselves creating other assets for a product such as photography, illustrations and visual identity.


6. Motion graphic design

Simply put, motion graphics are graphics that are in motion. This can include animation, audio, typography, imagery, video and other effects that are used in online media, television and film. The medium’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years as technology improved and video content became king.

“Motion graphics designer” is a somewhat new specialty for designers. Formally reserved for TV and film, technological advances have reduced production time and costs, making the art form more accessible and affordable. Now, motion graphics is one of the newest types of design and can be found across all digital platforms, which has created all sorts of new areas and opportunities.

Examples of motion graphic design

  • Title sequences and end credits
  • Advertisements
  • Trailers
  • Presentations
  • Promotional videos
  • Tutorial videos
  • Websites
  • Apps
  • Video games
  • Banners
  • GIFs.

7. Environmental graphic design

Environmental graphic design visually connects people to places to improve their overall experience by making spaces more memorable, interesting, informative or easier to navigate. Environmental design is a broad type of design, here are some examples:

Examples of environmental graphic design

  • Signage
  • Wall murals
  • Museum exhibitions
  • Office branding
  • Public transportation navigation
  • Retail store interiors
  • Stadium branding
  • Event and conference spaces

Wayfinding is a specific type of environmental graphic design that consists of strategic signage, landmarks and visual cues that help people identify where they are and where they need to go so they can get there without confusion.

8. Art and illustration for graphic design

Graphic art and illustration are often seen as being the same as graphic design, however, they’re each very different. Designers create compositions to communicate and solve problems, graphic artists and illustrators create original artwork. Their art takes a number of forms, from fine art to decoration to storytelling illustrations.

Examples of art and illustration for graphic design

  • T-shirt design
  • Graphic patterns for textiles
  • Motion graphics
  • Stock images
  • Graphic novels
  • Video games
  • Websites
  • Comic books
  • Album art
  • Book covers
  • Picture books
  • Infographics
  • Technical illustration
  • Concept art