Best Types of Graphic Design That You Should Know About First thing first: What are graphics?

Types of Graphic Design

We humans are by default programmed to like shapes, objects, and drawings. After all, this is what our nature is all about. We have trees in green and brown, Sun in yellow, and water in blue.

All these shapes combined form a scenery or a graphic visual that is pleasing to our eyes.

From birth till death, we see these sceneries around us. Some of these sceneries may be gloomy but some sceneries are great, pleasing, and even amazing.

An image of Northern Lights in Alaska. Source: The Conversation
A vector graphic of the same shape. Source: Pinterest

We use graphic visuals as a medium of communication. Since graphic designers are from us, they use the same sceneries they have seen in real-life and mimic it in reel-life.

Today, different graphic visuals are used for different purposes. Marketing graphics are different from those used for awareness and information. As a beginner graphic designer, you need to understand how these different types of graphics can make an impact.

Let’s learn about what do graphic designers do, the different types of graphic designs and visuals and how you can distinguish between them when you are creating them for your own project or a client.

Getting to know more about different types of graphic designs can help graphic designers specialize in any single design. Moreover, since the industry is changing regularly, learning more about them can help you get better at them.

Top Types of Graphic Designs & Their Meanings

Here are some of the most popular and in-demand graphics and visuals that you should know about.

Brand Graphic Designs & Visuals

Any brand in the world needs an identity that can resonate with it. People can only know a brand when it has visuals, designs, and logo, showing the same appeal. The brand will only get popular when the audience or its customers will recognize its logo. In essence, the graphics and visuals of the brand will act as a trust factor for that particular brand and the products it plans to sell.

Brand identity also communicates the personality, tone, emotions and experiences attached to it. Brand designers collaborate with stakeholders to learn more about the picture that they want to present, the story they want to tell, and the tone in which they want to tell it.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew is a brand that sells cold drinks. From the beginning, it has highlighted the drink as an energy drink. The commercial ads, graphics, and even the visual we just posted above show rebellion, energy, and loud tone. The feel of this brand is raunchy, powerful, energetic and that is why it appeals to the younger generation.

In comparison, take 7up. The drink is almost the same – carbonated beverage – yet it is marketed as a summer heat killer. It is advertised to the masses as a carbonated drink that they can drink at parties, after food, or just when they want to drink something chilled. The product messaging and tone is completely different for both the products and that is what brand voice is all about.

Designers that work on brand identity have to identify the tone, voice, and message of the product and create assets like logos, typography, color palettes and image libraries accordingly.

Marketing & Advertising Graphics

Marketing and advertising graphics are similar to branding graphics but they are developed to sell products. That is why they have a CTA, a price or something along that line, and the product promo.

Usually graphic designers create multiple concepts for marketing and advertising graphics because that way they can split-test these graphics and see which one works best for the organization. Great marketing graphics don’t sell products but they solve a problem that the viewer has. When the viewer watches those graphics, he/she then becomes a customer. People always find visual content more engaging and  graphic designs help companies communicate more effectively. This is what eventually sells the products

An image of how strong your teeth will become by using the toothpaste. Source: Canva

This is another Black Friday advertising graphic design for social media. It shows the discount value, a clear CTA, and a code that people can use to get the discount.

User Interface Graphic Designs

User interface is a term used for creating design of software products like websites, desktop software, and mobile apps. User interface (UI) is all about creating a design process that can help create a user-friendly path across the software. That is: How the user coming to the software or the website is going to get to the conversion action point. This is crucial for websites and mobile apps because in them the conversion points are usually products or information. In marketing terms, we call these conversions as leads or purchases.

User interface is based on the user journey. When a designer is creating the user interface, they first create the wire frames and discuss those with the client. The designer should explain how the visitor coming to the website or app is going to interact with it. This would include the overall touch points, the time spent, and the elements that they will see on the site/app.

Take this banking app user interface. The person coming to the app is going to make a transaction. He/she will first sign-up and then get an account. He/she can send or receive money from the app. That is it. This is a simple user interface for the design of a banking app. Graphic designers in the user interface field earn a lot because of their high-demand. It is one field in which graphic designers can easily specialize.

Print Publication Graphic Designs

Print graphics are graphics for printed newspapers, magazines, book covers, and even printed designs. People still love printed publication because of the feel of crisp, fine paper. Print publications have different color palettes in comparison with digital publications. In online publications, graphic designers use RGB colors. While in print publications, graphic designers use CMYK colors because RGB colors alone can’t be printed with their full prominence. Graphic designers that specialize in print publications work closely with on-ground marketing and editorial teams to create layouts and accompanying artwork. Often these layouts include graphics, illustrations, and even photographs.

Print graphics are different from web and mobile apps. They have more room available, and designers can play with typography, layout, and even visuals to make the overall design appealing.

Product Packaging Graphic Designs

Almost all products you consume have visuals or labels on them. This is what differentiates them from the rest of the products. Product packages also directly communicate with the consumers making them extremely effective marketing tools.

Packaging designers can create concepts, mock ups, and even print-ready files for different products. Usually the product packages are designed first and then the other marketing and advertising assets. In some cases, they are planned during the brand identity planning process because a brand is eventually going to sell its products and product packages are going to carry those designs.

  • Motion Graphics & Animations

Motion graphics are animated graphics that are moving or that can be moved. Motion graphics have now become common over the internet due to better internet speeds. These types of graphics include audio, typography, imagery, video and other effects often used online and even on electronic mediums like TVs and Movies.

A video motion graphics illustration used for the web. Source: Killer Visual Strategies

Today, Motion graphics designers are in high demand because videos are now becoming common and more popular then text-based content. YouTube, Netflix, and other video hosting channels have made video content more widespread and within reach of almost everyone.

Due to all these scenarios, motion graphics and animations have now a new demand in the market. This brings an opportunity for all the graphic designers that deal with motion graphics, video animations, and art.

Interior Design & Visuals

Interior design and modeling is another field that is getting a refresh due to the current graphics and design tools available. Since interior design and visuals have always remained a forte of the architectural students, with better 3D graphic design tools, it has become easier for them to re imagine different settings and scenarios. There is a lot of work available in the interior design domain for specialized graphics experts.

A simple interior graphic design example re imagined on a regular entrance reception. Source: Retail Design Blog

Character & Environment Graphics Design

Gaming industry is growing like crazy from the past few years due to enormous demand. Everyone with a mobile phone wants to play games to kill boredom. That is why games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Call of Duty have subscribers in millions. This has given rise to gaming graphics like character design, and environmental modeling.

In simple terms, character design is to design the skin of a character or the avatar that will be available in the game. Environment design is the level or the world in which that character will play the game.

A graphic design example from the HIT Graphics team. Source

HIT Graphic artists use tools like Blender, ZBrush, Maya 3D, and various others. Similarly, Environment design is part of Unity 3D or Unreal Engine. These are gaming engines that power the games that we play. Fortnite is created on Unreal Engine while Unity is behind top games like League of Legends.

Graphic artists that specialize in game-character design, modeling, and environment design have a bright future ahead.

Concept Design

Last but not the least, we have concept design artists. The job of concept artists is to create concepts from thin air. They work in multiple industries depending on their requirements. Most concept artists work with fashion artists to create the concepts of latest dresses. In fact, Rocket companies like SpaceX also have concept artists on their teams that create the overall design of the rockets. Similarly, concept artists also work in the movie and film industry where they are known as storyboard artists. They create designs of different sets to make them look realistic. Reimagine Avatar, Jurassic Park 3, and any other hyper-realistic movie you can think of. These are the works of concept artists as well.

Concept art for hyper-reality. Source: Nvidia

As we have previously discussed, concept art is a refined field and people have to specialize in it to create realistic concepts that will interest their audience. Now that Metaverse is getting real, the demand for concept artists is going to be on the rise.

Specialize in the Right Graphic Design Field

The demand for specialized graphic designers is always on the rise. When hiring the best graphic designers for the job, make sure to know more about their work, the nature of jobs they have done before. When you are familiar with different types of graphic designs, you can easily understand the kind of design specialist you will need for the job.