9 Types of Graphic Design, Examples, and Top Career Options

In educational settings, the common notion is that graphic design primarily revolves around making things visually attractive. Nevertheless, the essence of graphic design extends beyond mere aesthetics. At its core, graphic designers function as creative problem-solvers. While graphic design is commonly perceived as a broad term, the different facets within this field demand nuanced skill sets, diverse knowledge, and proficiency in various graphic design software.

Types of Graphic Design 

Whether you represent a company seeking to hire its inaugural designer or you are an aspiring graphic designer contemplating specialization, this article aims to illuminate the diverse roles graphic designers play across industries. For individuals keen on initiating a career as a full-time or freelance graphic designer, gaining insights into the various categories of graphic design will prove beneficial in navigating the landscape of job opportunities.

1. Advertising design 

Marketing and advertising professionals heavily rely on their graphic designers, who play a pivotal role in projects ranging from small-scale concepts like brochure designs to extensive endeavors like complete advertising campaigns, overseen by creative directors and art directors.

Effective graphic design is crucial for companies aiming to influence consumer purchasing decisions through engaging visual content. Graphic designers, adept at working with various mediums, strive to meet the unique needs and preferences of their clients. While historically print-centered, graphic design in the advertising and marketing industries is rapidly expanding to encompass digital assets.

For designers aspiring to enter advertising, proficiency in designing for both print and digital platforms is essential. This capability ensures they can adeptly address the diverse needs of clients, with digital applications including social media graphics, email marketing templates, and content marketing materials showcasing the evolving landscape of marketing and advertising design.

Job titles for graphic designers in advertising is called illustrators. Illustrators are tasked with envisioning and crafting images that convey a narrative or concept, suitable for integration into advertising materials. Utilizing diverse methods, illustrators employ tools ranging from traditional pencils and paint to digital technologies and software to achieve their desired outcomes.

The existing job market conditions could result in increased demand for digital marketing graphic designers. Nevertheless, there might be a decline in the demand for graphic designers in advertising and corporate branding in the foreseeable future.

2. Environmental graphic design

Environmental graphic design is an interdisciplinary approach that integrates elements from various fields to establish a connection between individuals and the spaces they explore. Through the amalgamation of graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design, practitioners in this field seek to elevate the overall experience of individuals in these environments. Their enhancements often revolve around making spaces more memorable, informative, or user-friendly.

At the heart of environmental graphic design is wayfinding, a fundamental aspect that involves the implementation of signage or visual cues to guide individuals through spaces, helping them understand their location and navigate effectively. However, the scope of environmental design extends beyond wayfinding. It serves as a multifaceted tool, not only aiding navigation but also acting as a medium for organizations to convey narratives or convey meaningful messages to visitors.

To produce designs of this sophistication, environmental designers must understand and have experience with both graphic design and architecture.

The job titles for graphic designers in environmental design include associate designer and draftsman. Associate designers in environmental design are entry-level graphic designers. This role is ideal for fresh graduates looking to gain experience in the field of environmental design. Drafters translate the designs created by designers, architects, and engineers into drawings. This position is slightly more technical than the average graphic design job, requiring specialization in architectural, electrical, or mechanical drafting.

Urban and regional planners’ employment is predicted to increase by 4% between 2022 and 2032. Recent events have presented an exceptional opportunity for environmental designers to take significant steps towards developing resilient, sustainable urban settings.

3. Publication design

Publication design, traditionally associated with print media like books, magazines, and newspapers, has evolved due to technological advancements, opening up new possibilities for its application.

In the realm of digital publication design, designers leverage conventional artistic elements such as color, typography, and space. Through a thoughtful integration of these elements, they craft visually appealing content for digital platforms, including eBooks, email newsletters, magazine layouts, and various other mediums.

Individuals engaged in publication design roles are typically employed by publishing companies, work as freelancers, or collaborate with creative agencies to contribute their expertise to this dynamic field.

Job titles for graphic designers in publication includes production artist, layout artist, and DTP artist. In the capacity of a production artist, individuals take on the task of executing paste-up or layout work, collaborating with designers and art directors in agencies to ensure precise placement of elements. This role demands extensive expertise in print production, design software, and a flair for creativity.

For layout artists, the focus lies in crafting the visual structure of images and texts in a manner that is visually appealing, particularly for printed media like magazines, posters, books, and brochures.

DTP artists, or desktop publishing artists, play a crucial role in translating the designs conceptualized by illustrators and art directors into a digital format, preparing them for either print or online publication. This role requires proficiency in multiple design and desktop publishing software programs.

4. Motion design

For those not immersed in the field of graphic design, the term “motion design” might prompt the question, “What exactly is it?” Despite its somewhat perplexing name, this relatively recent style in graphic design is more straightforward than it seems and has evolved into a versatile choice for designers.

Motion design involves creating digital graphics that give the illusion of motion or rotation. While traditionally associated with openings of movies, television shows, or news productions, it has now expanded its presence across various digital platforms, including GIFs, apps, website design, and more.

Over the past decade, motion design has gained significant popularity, aligning with the ongoing digitization of our society. Technological progress has provided designers with the opportunity to explore the potential value of this medium. Keeping abreast of the latest design trends becomes crucial to staying ahead in a competitive landscape.

Job titles for graphic designers focusing on motion design include motion graphics designer and 3D motion graphic designer. These professionals excel in traditional graphic design, integrating additional elements into their existing knowledge. Some may also have backgrounds in filmmaking or video production, utilizing animation skills to enhance both static and three-dimensional graphics.

The demand for animators and special effects artists is projected to increase by eight percent, in line with the growth rate observed in other occupations, spanning from 2022 to 2032. This anticipated surge is attributed to the growing requirement for visual effects in various entertainment sectors, including video games, television, and the film industry. In addition, the rise of motion graphics agency is contributing to this demand, further emphasizing the significant role of animators and special effects artists in creating engaging and dynamic visual content for diverse media platforms.

5. Corporate design

Organizations employ corporate design to convey the connection between a brand and its audience. The visual components of a brand identity serve as the public face of the company, communicating its tone, personality, and essence. Elements like color, shapes, and imagery, though intangible, evoke specific emotions in the audience and shape the consumer’s perception of the brand.

Maintaining consistency in a brand is crucial in corporate design, as consumers respond positively to familiar visual elements. In the realm of corporate identity design, designers collaborate closely with brand stakeholders to develop essential elements such as typography, logos, color palettes, and illustration libraries.

Subsequently, designers create a comprehensive corporate design guideline, ensuring the consistent application of the visual brand identity across all present and future applications. This guideline serves as a framework for maintaining a cohesive and recognizable brand presence.

Job roles for graphic designers in corporate design include brand identity designer, who plays a crucial role in shaping the initial visual representation of a company’s products and services. Operating within advertising agencies, these designers ensure clients have a robust visual brand identity by updating elements such as logos, typography, color palettes, and assets.

Another key role is that of a logo designer, where responsibilities are inherent in the title itself. These designers guide clients through the logo design process, delivering a final logo that aligns seamlessly with the brand. Logo designers can be found working within advertising agencies or as freelancers.

Like graphic designers, demand for corporate designers is expected to fall to 4% from 2019 to 2029, owing to fierce competition for available opportunities.

6. UI design

Reflect on your recent use of a mobile app – from opening your phone to accessing and closing the app, you’ve experienced the essence of user interface (UI) design. In essence, UI design revolves around enhancing the aesthetic and style of a user interface, whether it’s a hardware device (e.g., mouse, trackpad, keyboard, printer) or a software application (e.g., app, browser).

UI designers are dedicated to crafting interactions that engage human senses like sight, touch, and hearing. Specifically, UI graphic designers meticulously design every visual element a user might interact with, optimizing the interface’s usability. This includes elements such as buttons and menus on-screen graphics.

Adhering to design principles and usability standards, UI designers strike a balance between aesthetic appeal and functionality. Graphic designers specializing in UI design often focus on crafting visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces for web apps, mobile apps, and games.

The Job titles for graphic designers in UI design include UI designer, visual designer, product designer, and brand designer. UI designers will be in high demand as big data, artificial intelligence, VR, and AR technologies advance. They play an important role in making user interfaces accessible, usable, and visually appealing.

7. Web design

Web design encompasses tasks such as page layout, image selection, and determining the most suitable typography for a website. This field closely aligns with UI design and UX design, both of which strive to develop interfaces that harmonize aesthetic appeal on the front end with optimal usability.

Job titles for graphic designers specializing in web design include web designer. These professionals apply graphic design principles to craft responsive web designs with a cohesive user interface, integrating elements of UX and UI design. The demand for web developers and designers is anticipated to increase by eight percent, surpassing the growth rate of other occupations, from 2019 to 2029. This substantial growth is attributed to the surge in e-commerce, online shopping, and the widespread use of mobile devices.

8. Packaging design 

When scanning the shelves of any retailer or grocery store, one can observe that nearly every product is encased in some form of packaging. While the primary function of packaging is to safeguard merchandise, companies also recognize its potential as a powerful tool for communication through product packaging design.

By strategically incorporating elements like color, shape, and typography, packaging becomes a means for companies to convey their brand’s personality and narrative directly to consumers. Various industries, including retail, makeup, and food, leverage packaging design as a valuable marketing tool. Effective packaging design can create “shelf impact,” significantly enhancing sales for a company. For packaging designers, this underscores the importance of not only possessing graphic design skills but also understanding successful product marketing strategies.

The job titles for graphic designers in packaging design are graphic designer, branding designer, and brand identity designer. Recent circumstances, similar to those affecting graphic designers who work in marketing and advertising, may reduce demand for packaging designers in the next years. Designers who stay current on design trends, tools, and processes will have the best career prospects.

9. Information design 

The objective of information design is to assist individuals in comprehending data effectively.

According to the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, infographic design is a method of conveying information in a manner that maximizes accessibility and comprehension for users.

Whether it involves creating street signs, restaurant menus, or patient record systems, information designers prioritize the audience or user experience over aesthetics or the visual appeal of the content.

Information design demands proficiency and skills across various disciplines, including visual design, infographic design, data visualization, technical writing, editing, and usability.

Employment of information designers in print is expected to diminish dramatically. In contrast, digital information designers are expected to have a better professional outlook than their print colleagues.

It’s only the beginning

With a better grasp of where your graphic design skills can take you, it’s a good idea to start looking into the chances available to you. Becoming a graphic designer in any of these fields provides an unprecedented opportunity to make an impact on the world.

Whether you’re seeking to enhance your brand’s visual identity, create compelling marketing materials, or embark on a digital design project, as a motion design agency, our team is ready to collaborate and bring your creative vision to life.

Contact us today to explore the transformative world of graphic design.


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