Types of Graphic Design

Types of graphic design are some of the areas of graphic design which you need to understand better, especially when you are seeking different kinds of graphic design services for your business.

Graphic design is imagination and the creation of visuals that convey messages through imagery, colors, typography, and other visual forms. It is a very dynamic industry so that graphic design categories are also ever-changing or constantly adding.

Graphic design types are all around us—from the physical to the digital world. The different types of graphic design are stunning, standout components that breathe life into everything we can see. They are the elements that add that enthusiastic oomph to rather dull pages, postcards, posters, and other materials.

Presented here are the most fundamental types of graphic design, plus the best examples for each area of graphic design.

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Branding Design and Visual Identity

Both branding design and visual identity are one of the specialized types of graphic design wherein a brand’s visual representation, or its brand identity, is developed. Shapes, images, and colors are put together to formulate a visual narrative whose purpose is to communicate the unique story behind your business.

Because it is a lasting symbol and long-term emblem for a brand or company, its visual identity or branding design requires the designer to put careful thought, particularly into the imagery components.

1. What It Does

A brand identity design leaves a lasting optimistic impression and perception of your brand in your audience. It should evoke positive emotions, attract, and ideally have an outstanding recall.

It is one of the graphic design categories that requires consistency across your business collaterals and materials published on your channels and platforms. Every aspect of your company’s branding design should focus on, be aligned with, and fit your business’ bigger picture.

The image libraries, branding guidelines, and the color palette details should be readily available for future or evergreen utilization and applications. Your branding should have the right message that includes your overarching mission and vision, and the greater aesthetic concept you want your organization to ferry across your target audience.

2. Best Samples

These are the types of graphic design produced for visual identity and branding:

  • Logos and signage
  • Company letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Website branding
  • Company brochures
  • Corporate or business stationery

3. Skills Required

Branding identity design is one of the major graphic design types. It is essentially your brand personality. Your design specialist and branding expert should possess the following skills to shape consumer perception of your business accurately:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Lettering and typography
  • Market, trends, competitors, and industry research
  • Original conceptualization and ideation
  • Communication skills and teamwork

Advertising and Marketing Design

Advertising and marketing design is one of the types of graphic design with a narrower, more targeted objective, strategically creating concepts that resonate with a specific demographic.

An excellent ad and marketing design can be measured by the effectiveness of the campaign for which it is used.

1. What It Does

A design for marketing and advertisement can come in the form of digital, print, a combination of both, or a hybrid campaign.

The efforts and initiatives that go into marketing and advertising design ultimately tap into and impact your target market’s decision-making process. A good marketing design should be based on your audience’s needs and wants. A business or brand’s marketing as to be engaging, effectively promote and build awareness, and influence them to purchase your products or hire your services.

2. Best Samples

Here are the creative assets and collaterals which are most useful for content marketing and advertising areas of graphic design:

  • Postcards and posters
  • Banners and billboards
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Flyers and brochures
  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Infographics
  • Trade show display ads and signage
  • Email templates
  • Presentation decks
  • Social media ads
  • Website and blog images

3. Skills Required

These skills and sets of experience are most valuable for these types of graphic design projects:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Social media marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • SEO
  • Email marketing

Digital Design

Digital design is one of the types of graphic design that is specially conceptualized and created for viewing on your screens and virtual platforms on the internet. It is one of the areas of graphic design that is widely encompassing, especially since our world is becoming increasingly digitized at a rapid rate.

1. What It Does and Best Samples

This field is among the graphic design categories that demand meticulous attention to detail to ensure an outstanding user experience. Some of the most prominent graphic design types that fall under the digital design category is as follows:

  • Website design
  • App design
  • User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) design
  • Theme design for web pages
  • Gaming interfaces

2. Skills Required

When making designs intended for online and digital spaces, your creative output has to be visually attractive, your interactive pages should be responsive, easy to use and navigate through. Your choice of a designer should also keep in mind the best and most compatible SEO practices and know how to align these with your brand voice and overall branding.

  • Branding and visual graphic design
  • UI/UX design
  • Wireframing
  • SEO
  • Coding
  • Programming languages such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
  • Problem-solving
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Product Design

The design of product types will depend on which industry your business belongs to. Product design is one of the more specialized among the different types of graphic design. It comprises of a deep dive into market research and should be executed while abiding by intellectual property laws.

Product design involves using creative practices and processes for the research and design that ultimately lead to the development of new products. At the beginning of the product design workflow, illustrations and prototypes are first created before actual production.

1. Different Types of Graphic Design for Products

These are very different avenues and areas of graphic design that require specialized individual roles:

  • Interaction or UX design for understanding how websites and apps work and interact based on client needs
  • Image design for the creation of relevant visuals
  • User research for a better understanding of the minds of consumers—their perceptions, impressions, and wants
  • Data analysis and implementation of a prototype for product testing and making more informed decisions on the end product or final output
  • Business strategy for analysis of strategies behind all design decisions from the perspective of profitability and product success

2. Best Samples

Here are the types of graphic design work produced in product design:

  • Actual product itself
  • Product packaging
  • Marketing collaterals
  • Product diagrams and prototypes

3. Skills Required

When venturing into product design, your specialist is expected to have a high-capacity level in these areas of graphic design:

  • Market research and analysis
  • Prototyping
  • 3D modeling and illustration
  • Adobe Creative Suite

Publication and Editorial Design

Publication and editorial design are of the most common and in-demand types of graphic design. Designers in the publishing graphic design categories usually work on magazines and books.

The aforementioned are areas of graphic design that should deliver appealing covers for periodicals, journals, and other reading materials. It should be able to capture the attention of your target market audience.

1. What It Does

Whether produced for traditional print media or online publishing such as e-Books, these graphic design types should convey the author’s message and cover their vision for their creative work.

As these include imagery and text, design page layouts should be edgy and unique, just as they should be easy on the eye. While they should be clever-looking and striking, the final design layout should also be easy-to-read. The most essential components and written information should easily pop up and be identifiable.

2. Best Samples

Here are the creative works under the publishing and editorial graphic design categories:

  • Covers for printed books or e-Books
  • Newspapers, magazines, and magazine spreads
  • Newsletters and journals
  • Directories
  • Business reports
  • Informative materials
  • Infographics
  • Products or services catalogs

3. Skills Required

These are required fields of expertise for successfully completing the editorial and publication types of graphic design:

  • Conventional and digital printing
  • Color management
  • Market research
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Publishing graphic design software
  • Photography, lettering, and typeface

Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental Graphic Design is a discipline that taps on the different types of graphic design. It is one of the areas of graphic design that embraces varying design elements and creative components, even bringing landscape, industrial and interior design, and even architecture into the various steps and processes.

1. What It Does

More than sparking interest in your audiences, environmental graphic design aims to create a remarkable experience and journey for individuals. An effective environmental graphic design makes time spent in a particular situation and within a certain atmosphere memorable, worthwhile, productive, and informative. It should be smooth to navigate without causing any confusion or apprehension and even idyllic at its best.

2. Best Samples

Here are leading examples for these graphic design categories:

  • Murals
  • Stadium branding
  • Office branding and other workspaces
  • Study areas
  • Signage and other visual cues and landmarks
  • Exhibits and art displays
  • Museums
  • Conferences and events places
  • Brick-and-mortar shop interiors and exteriors
  • Restaurant design and vibe
  • Public transportation areas

Set Prop Design

Set prop design professionals specialize and take charge of graphic design types such as costumes, bottle labels, lettering on a shop’s signage, seals and emblems, and the rest of practically everything that sits in the background of set production.

This is also another one of the types of graphic design that is wide-ranging, requiring skills in imagery, typeface, fashion illustration, design, and construction, and environmental graphic design. Each element redesigns and transforms a plain setting into an entirely new world of make-believe. These different types of graphic design all come together for an effective and successful set prop design.

It is primarily utilized in theatrical productions and movie sets.

Human-Centered Design

Human-centered design is also known as Design Thinking and at times, referred to as Design for Good.

While it is more a philosophy than actually one of the major types of graphic design, the human-centric graphic design is still a welcome addition to the lengthy list of the different types of graphic design as they keep adding more categories.

1. What It Does

The main component of human-centricity in this design type is mostly used for community projects and social entrepreneurship. It aspires to create a positive societal impact built around humanity's greater good.

2. Best Samples

Architecture, interior design, and graphic design have all been investing efforts to bring into play the human component in their creative work and end products. These are some of the more popular human-inspired designs—and they are just around the corners of our urban cities and rural communities:

  • Children’s playhouses
  • Well-lit and well-ventilated health-friendly playgrounds
  • More efficient traffic plans and patterns
  • Ecofriendly office buildings
  • Greenhouses
  • Landscapes, privately-owned lawns and gardens
  • Public parks
  • Thoroughfares and walkways
  • Bicycle-friendly lanes
  • Apps, websites, games, ads, and other publications that advocate human-centricity

Takeaways on the Types of Graphic Design

Given the eight abovementioned different types of graphic design—and counting, you should not at all be limited to its use for your brand and enterprise. In fact, you should make the most out of all the graphic design types available for your use and application.

You can mix the numerous elements and areas of graphic design and media to ideate and create an outstanding business. Take advantage of and experience the dynamic and rich properties of the graphic design categories at your disposal.

The types of graphic design are consistently overlapping and in a good way. This even makes it easier and more convenient for your design team to find the perfect style that is best fitting for your brand messaging or any specific project you may have for your business.

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