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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Graphic Design

The 9 Different Types of Graphic Design

What are the different types of graphic design that stem from this creative field? In this article, I'll tell you all about it!

A big field with many different creative niches: that's what graphic design really is. It's important to know the types of graphic designers out there as we aren't all the same. Each has a different skillset and specialization that can better help customers to achieve their goals.

In this article, we take a look at the different types of graphic design and the results of all these graphic design genres. I will also provide some awesome tutorials that can get you started in one of these different types of graphic design.

Types of Graphic Design

Types of Graphic DesignTypes of Graphic DesignTypes of Graphic Design
Teamwork

Graphic design has different types of specialization, and all of these specializations have one goal in common: to communicate and organize information for a user. By using typography, color, form, imagery, and organization, we can achieve clear and effective communication.

There are designers that specialize in a single type of graphic design, while others focus on a few different sets. Many of these graphic design genres overlap each other, as well as other fields like architecture, landscape design, industrial design, and even psychology. 

The design industry is constantly evolving, and a couple of our most important skills are adaptability and constant learning so we can get more specializations under our belt. If you're a designer or are looking to hire someone in the industry, it's important to understand the different types of design so you can hire the right person for the job. Let's take a look at the different types of graphic designers that exist and the results of each type.

Types of Graphic Design: Branding or Visual Identity

Types of Graphic Design: Branding or Visual IdentityTypes of Graphic Design: Branding or Visual IdentityTypes of Graphic Design: Branding or Visual Identity
Female Graphic Designer

Many people associate designers with logos, but that's just a small portion of what designers are capable of doing. As designers, we're great at creating systems and, in this case, the entire look and feel of a brand. Brand identity or visual identity is one specialization of graphic design. It encompasses much more than just a logo. Developing color palettes, choosing the type of images to use, typographic choices, stationery, and other graphic elements will help a brand communicate its personality. 

Brand designers can work on their own or as part of a creative team. Higher positions include brand directors, who oversee how a specific brand evolves. This type of graphic designer will create the most important component of a visual identity: a brand style guide. This is a guide for brands that lets them apply a new identity to other fields like packaging, marketing design, and web design. 

Types of Graphic Design: Marketing and Advertising

Types of Graphic Design: Marketing and AdvertisingTypes of Graphic Design: Marketing and AdvertisingTypes of Graphic Design: Marketing and Advertising
Business Marketing Banner Template

Promotional strategy is its own big field that focuses on consumers making purchases. The most successful companies invest in marketing specialists and advertisers to engage with customers. Whether it's online or in print, designers specializing in this area can help get the job done efficiently. Consumers engage more with visual content, and designers help promote and organize information effectively.

This type of graphic designer will often have studied behavioral psychology to understand consumers' behavior when it comes to making purchases. This type of graphic designer often works in-house as part of a creative team or with marketing directors to create strategies.

A few of the assets that can result from marketing specialists are print and digital advertising, banners, marketing emails, brochures, billboards, social media graphics, and sometimes even packaging designs. 

Types of Graphic Design: User Interface Design and Web Design

Types of Graphic Design: UI and Web DesignTypes of Graphic Design: UI and Web DesignTypes of Graphic Design: UI and Web Design
Planning User Experience Design of Website

UI and web designers are responsible for developing apps and websites. In addition to having basic graphic design knowledge, they also have to understand user experience design and basic coding. While they don't actually have to do the coding, designers need to understand the limitations and capabilities of the systems.

Many of these projects are based on mobile and desktop app design, interfaces, websites, landing pages, and marketing websites. This type of designer works with a UX designer (user experience) and UI developers who write the code to make the apps work.

Types of Graphic Design: Publication Design

Types of Graphic Design: Publication DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Publication DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Publication Design
Voom Portfolio

Before the digital boom, most designers focused on print design. Publication design has made a nice transition into the digital world too. Understanding the basic principles of good design is essential for this field. Mastering color theory, typography, imagery, and technical specifications is essential to create outstanding designs. 

This type of graphic designer works with editors, publishers, photographers, and illustrators. Over the years and with advanced technology, it's become easier than ever to create your own magazine. Some of the print-related projects that this field can produce are book covers, magazines, newspapers, menu designs, brochures, and stationery. 

Types of Graphic Design: Packaging Design

Types of Graphic Design: Packaging DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Packaging DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Packaging Design
Coffee Packaging Mockup

Packaging design has a big influence on how much impact a product has in the market. A packaging designer's main role is to assess the packaging of a brand's competitor and design product packaging that is worth consumers' attention. Many brands rely on packaging design to be successful, so designers have a big responsibility. Over the years, packaging design has evolved to produce environmentally friendly designs.

Many packaging designers specialize in a type of packaging, e.g. labels or cans. Sometimes they specialize in a specific industry—for instance, coffee roaster, skincare, or baked goods, to name a few. This type of designer needs to have a strong knowledge of printing solutions and industrial design to understand the structure of a package. 

Types of Graphic Design: Environmental Design

Types of Graphic Design: Environmental DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Environmental DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Environmental Design
Signage and Logo Mock-up

Environmental design combines graphic design with architecture, landscape design, and industrial design to create navigation signs for users. For instance, in a place as confusing an airport can be, designers develop a way to get passengers on their flight and off with symbols that can be understood regardless of the user's language.

Environmental designers are usually part of a larger team that works together to create systems. Many of these designers have a broad knowledge of architecture and graphic design. You'll see much of their work produced on street signs, airport signs, buildings, exhibition layouts, and smart cities. The work produced is often in print, but we're starting to see more interactive displays that engage with users.

Types of Graphic Design: Typeface Design and Lettering Design

Types of Graphic Design: Typeface DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Typeface DesignTypes of Graphic Design: Typeface Design
Glow Better

One of the most overlooked niches of the different kinds of graphic design is typeface design. Most people don't think of the development of typefaces or their impact and suitability for projects. Typeface designers need to understand typographic principles, legibility, type anatomy, and how it affects overall readability. 

Lettering designers specialize in designs that are created by hand and often displayed in signs, murals, and wordmark logos. Sometimes, these designs will be transferred into digital files. Here are some tutorials that can help you with this graphic design genre:

Types of Graphic Design: Animation or Motion Design

Motion designers specialize in the design of cartoons or social media graphics that can be shown on TV, games, or corporate videos. Motion designers usually work with a big team as many animations are tedious and complex to complete for one person alone. The types of work that can be produced by a motion designer are movies, brand animations, motion graphics for brands, and cartoons. 

Types of Graphic Design: Illustration

Types of Graphic Design: IllustrationTypes of Graphic Design: IllustrationTypes of Graphic Design: Illustration
People With Pet Illustration

Illustration is not a niche many think evolves from graphic design. Graphic illustrators have become more and more popular over the years. The social media boom allowed for illustrators to share more of their work and get exposure. 

Illustrators create commercial work for brands and editorial design, many being featured on magazine covers, websites, and social media. Some illustrators create purely digital work, while others start with analog tools or use a mix of both. The illustrations created can be on magazine articles, book and magazine covers, games, apparel, and other products.

Which Type of Graphic Design Is Your Favorite?

Graphic design is a big field that many people don't realise encompasses so much of what they see in their daily life. As designers, we create anything that is visual and that can be read, from the simplest daily newspapers and advertisements to complicated systems that help users navigate when shopping and traveling.

Graphic design genres often overlap one another and even other fields like architecture and psychology. Whatever the genre, designers have one mission in mind: to find solutions that can help users process information better and more easily. 

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