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The 8 Types of Graphic Design You Need To Know

Graphic design is a wide field of study that encompasses various types and specializations. The different types of graphic design play a crucial role in our lives. It is a powerful tool for visual communication that existed for thousands of years throughout history. Today we will discuss the essence of graphic design and its 8 main types. But first of all, let’s understand what graphic design is and why it is so important.

What is graphic design?

What comes to your mind first when you think about graphic design? Quite often it is a brochure, a cool application or a website banner that we have seen recently. Of course, none of these provides an actual definition of graphic design. It is more than that.

Graphic design is a skill of a visual interpretation of a message. It may be physical, digital or in between. It is an art of achieving certain objectives with the use of images, words and symbols. The final goal of graphic design is the right communication, the expression of concepts and ideas aesthetically. 

The initial forms of graphic design were found about 14-15.000 years ago in cave paintings. They were created to tell stories and pass them from generation to generation. They all keep records and provide valuable information. These paintings are still visible and used as a source of information for tourism and other fields. 

Since the advent of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in 1987, graphic artists have started to blend their skills with technology. This was when the first innovative designs were created. As technology evolved, new tools and techniques appeared in the sphere and graphic designers started using them actively. 

In the past, by saying graphic design, mainly newspapers, magazines and billboards came to our mind. Now digital media has become an integral part of graphic design, with designers creating designs for websites, social media etc. In addition to traditional skills such as typography and color theory, graphic designers nowadays learn about user experience, coding etc. 

There has also been a huge demand for multicultural design, due to globalization. This has highlighted the importance of cultural diversity and sensitivity in the industry. 

With the right combination of technological and design skills, graphic designers can continue to expand their career in the future. The field of graphic design keeps on being quite exciting and dynamic.  

Let’s now focus on why graphic design is so important today.

Reasons why graphic design is important today

#1 Visual appeal

In a world where almost everyone is attracted by visual appeal, graphic design plays a vital role. It helps create a positive first impression. Whether it is packaging, a website or a new app, it enhances the overall user experience. It attracts the attention of your potential customers and already loyal ones.

#2 Communication

All the types of graphic design helps convey messages, ideas and information in a visually engaging and understandable manner. Thanks to typography, layouts, images and colors, graphic design facilitates high quality and effective communication.

#3 Marketing and advertising

Effective marketing relies heavily on different types of graphic design. It helps businesses attract customers and influence their buying decisions. Marketing and advertising can be done via eye-catching ads, visually appealing packaging, an Instagram visual etc. 

#4 Solving problems easily

Graphic design involves problem solving skills. Designers usually analyze the needs of the customers and develop effective design solutions. They take into account factors such as readability, hierarchy, visual balance and user preferences to effectively communicate the message.

#5 Creativity and aesthetics

Regardless of the type of graphic design, it brings beauty and aesthetics to our lives. It allows designers to explore their own artistic skills and capabilities. Nowadays graphic designers experiment with different new and traditional styles. From illustration to typography and layout design, graphic designers add aesthetic value to their work.

#6 User experience (UX)

Not yet talking about types of graphic design, we couldn’t skip mentioning the user experience design in this section. Graphic design plays a huge role in shaping user experience in digital interfaces: e.g. mobile apps or websites. Graphic designers contribute to user satisfaction, ease of navigation and overall usability of the product.

These were just 6 reasons why graphic design is an important part of our daily and business lives today. Now let’s discuss 8 main types of graphic design we want you to know.

The main 8 types of graphic design to know about

The graphic design employs visual compositions to identify problems and communicate ideas through typography, form, color and imagery. This is why there are various types of graphic design with their particular field of specialization. Of course they often overlap, but each type of graphic design has its own set of abilities and design methods. Some designers specialize in one type, while others work with a group of design forms. Since the design world is constantly changing, designers or just students have to be lifelong learners. They need to alter or add specializations to their career in the future.

Regardless of the predicted trends of graphic design this year,  the types of graphic design have remained unchanged for now.  As a future graphic designer you need to know the main types of graphic design. It will help you locate the proper skills for your job in any phase of your career.

So, let’s start!

#1 Visual identity design

This type of graphic design works on visual representation of a brand or a company. This includes logos, typography, color schemes and other visual elements that create a consistent brand image. Logos are parts of our everyday lives. You see them on buses, in your computer, in magazines etc. You have to weigh many factors to understand the expression of your logo. The color you pick and the complete design must communicate with your customers on multiple levels. Once you decide on a final design, think twice before the launch. This is the first impression you are making on your target audience.

#2 UI design

You have certainly heard about UX|UI design. Not focusing on the difference between UI and UX design now, we will highlight the importance of UI design. User interface design includes the moment you open your phone, access the app and close your phone. UI focuses on the aesthetics and style of a user interface, whether it’s a hardware device or a software application. UI design is all about the layers of interaction that appeal to the human senses – hearing, touch etc. Each and every visual design element that the user will interact with must be thoroughly designed. It is done in order to optimize the usability of the interface. This includes buttons, menus etc. 

UI designers adhere to some important principles to balance aesthetics and functionality. Graphic designers who focus on user interface specialize mainly in games, mobile apps and websites.

#3 Corporate design

Corporate design is a bridge between the company and its audience. The visual elements of brand identity introduce the company’s face for communication purposes. It includes the tone, personality and essence of the company. Colors, shape and imagery are considered intangible elements that elicit certain emotions and feelings for the audience. They dictate how a consumer perceives the brand of the company. 

Consumers respond to recognizable visual elements, so corporate identity design is important. Within the corporate identity design, the designers work with brand stakeholders to create products such as typography, logos etc. The key goal is that the visual brand identity is applied consistently throughout the apps. 

Our Graphic Design Course trainer Shushan Tonoyan mentions the importance of branding as a type of graphic design. The most popular types of graphic design, according to her, are UX and UI design, motion design, and branding. She thinks that they will all keep on being very sought-after in the future. ”I would consider branding as the main type of graphic design, then UI|UX design, motion and immersive designs. These types of graphic design have a brilliant future”, – says Shushan. 

#4 Motion design

Motion design specializes in creating visual content with movement. Animation, typography, video and other elements are used to get the final result. The goal of motion design is to communicate, tell a story and evoke emotions in people.

Traditional graphic design is about static visual compositions. Motion design is all about extra dimensions of time and movement. It includes elements such as graphic design, filmmaking and animation. The final goal is to create engaging and dynamic visual work.

There are different tools and software applications used by motion designers. They work with various concepts, e.g. timing, pacing, choreography, to bring graphics to life. Motion designers’ works can be seen in various mediums, TV commercials, video games, mobile apps, websites etc. 

Motion design enhances user activity by adding interactivity and guiding the viewers’ attention. Designers convey complex information through visually attractive and easily understandable work. They often commercialize the brand identity, demonstrate product features and create stunning effects.

#5 Web design

Web design is closely connected to UI and UX design. This type of graphic design is quite widespread. Page layout, images, typography for a website are all parts of web design. The goal of good web design is to create an interesting and aesthetic appeal on the front end page. 

Employment for web designers is projected to rise in the near future. It is connected with the trend of e-commerce, online shopping and the increase in mobile usage. 

#6 Publication design

This type of graphic design is used in order to design paper based or digital publications. The magazines, newspapers, books and e-books are very popular even in 2023. 

Publication design is a type of graphic design that focuses on the creation of printed and digital publications. 

Here are some key aspects of publication design: 

  • Typography – It is all about selecting the right fonts, sizes and styles in publication. Typography plays an important role in enhancing the readability of the design. 
  • Layout – A well-organized and appealing layout is essential for the design. Designers arrange text, images, subheadings and headings in a balanced way. The final goal is a more polished and organized appearance. 
  • Grid systems – They provide a structure for organizing content and maintaining consistency in layout design. Grid systems facilitate readability and provide a framework for placing elements consistently. 
  • Print and digital considerations – There are some specific requirements of the medium in which the design will be published. The designers should be aware of them. 

#7 Environmental design

Environmental or experimental design includes design for physical spaces such as retail stores, exhibitions, public installations etc. The goalie to create immersive environments and visually appealing experiences. 

This is a multidisciplinary field in which graphic design, architecture, art and other fields are used. They are utilized in a manner so as to enhance the user experience through visual translation of ideas in the built environment. Environmental graphic design can serve as a support for the architecture or space where the graphics provide identification and direction.

#8 Packaging design

Every item in a supermarket comes in its way of packaging. Designers strategically implement color, shape and typography to communicate the brand personality. Effective packaging gives the product a shelf impact. It can raise the sales of the company. Packaging design is a part of the marketing of a product. Next time you pass by products on a shelf pay attention to their packaging and see if you are impressed.    

We discussed the types of graphic design with another great specialist and “Graphic Design” course trainer at BDG, Shushan Gevorgyan. She mentions that the widest application of graphic design is in logo, packaging and social media. 

“Nowadays, you can’t ignore the existence of artificial intelligence. One should study and understand it thoroughly. The role of a creative specialist is going to be more significant in the future. That’s why we had better not lose creativity and not focus solely on technical skills”,- says Shushan. 

If you want to improve your creativity skills and enrich your technical knowledge in the sphere, BDG will help you! 

We organize Graphic Design Courses based on both theoretical and practical knowledge. Thanks to our in-detail course you will be ready to start a brilliant career in the world of graphic design. You will understand which type of graphic design is closer to your heart during the course itself.

So, start your career with a perfect course!

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