9 Common Types of Graphic Design You Should Know

 • 7 min read

When it comes to the design world, the term “graphic design” is often thrown around. However, what exactly does this term encompass? How many different types of graphic design exist?

Simply, it is a multifaceted field that involves creating visual content to communicate messages, ideas, and information. From creating eye-catching logos to stunning infographics, there are many types for different purposes and styles.

In this complete guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the nine most common types of graphic design and explore their characteristics and applications. So let’s get started and discover the many facets of this fascinating field together!

Brand Identity Design

Brand identity design is creating a visual system that represents a brand’s unique personality, values, and characteristics. It involves creating a range of elements, including logos, typography, color palettes, imagery, and other visual components that come together to create a cohesive and recognizable brand image.

At its core, brand identity is about creating a consistent and memorable visual representation of a brand that resonates with its target audience. This involves researching and understanding the brand’s values, mission, and personality, as well as the preferences and expectations of its target audience.

Examples of designers in the field of brand identity include Paula Scher, who created the iconic logos for brands such as Citibank and Microsoft; Michael Beirut, who designed the branding for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York Times; and David Airey, who is known for his work on the logos of brands like Firefox and the National Lottery.

Overall, brand identity is essential to building a successful brand that resonates with its audience and stands the test of time.

Packaging Design

Picture of green, brown and yellow food packaging.

Packaging is the process of creating a visual and physical container for a product that effectively communicates its contents, purpose, and brand to the consumer.

A well-designed package can be crucial to a product’s success by creating a memorable and recognizable brand image, communicating important product information, and enhancing the overall consumer experience. Packaging can also help to differentiate a product from its competitors and reinforce its value proposition.

For instance, Andrew Gibbs‘s project for the Coca-Cola Share a Coke campaign involved creating personalized labels for bottles that featured common first names, which helped to create a sense of emotional connection with consumers.

Likewise, Arthus Huang‘s packaging for Nike sneakers incorporated a unique and eye-catching box that reflected the brand’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Overall, packaging is a crucial aspect of creating a successful product that resonates with consumers and stands out in a crowded market. It requires a deep understanding of the product, the brand, and the target audience, as well as creative and technical skills to create an attractive and functional package.

Motion Graphic Design

Motion graphic is a type of graphic design that involves the use of animation, video, and other visual effects to create compelling and engaging content.

It’s a highly dynamic field that combines traditional graphic principles with multimedia elements, such as audio, video, and animation, to create visually stunning and interactive content.

Examples of designers in motion graphics include John Likens, who has worked on the title sequences for films such as Doctor Strange and The Lego Batman Movie, and Kyle Cooper, known for his work on the opening credits for movies like Se7en and Spider-Man.

Motion graphics is an exciting and rapidly evolving field that combines technical and creative skills to create engaging and dynamic content. It requires an understanding of animation, video production, and design-thinking principles and an ability to tell stories and convey messages through multimedia elements.

Print and publication design involves creating visual and editorial content for print media, such as magazines, books, newspapers, brochures, and other printed materials.

Print and publication designers work closely with editors, writers, and publishers to create visually appealing and informative content that is easy to read and navigate. They are responsible for creating page layouts, selecting typefaces and colors, and creating graphics and illustrations that enhance the overall reading experience.

For instance, Irma Boom‘s project for the book “Weaving as Metaphor” incorporated a unique accordion-folded design that allowed the reader to experience the book in a non-linear way. In contrast, David Carson‘s design for Raygun magazine used unconventional typography and layouts to create a distinctive and edgy aesthetic.

Overall, print and publication is a highly specialized and essential aspect of the publishing industry that requires a deep understanding of design principles and printing techniques.

In addition, it requires creativity, attention to detail, and an ability to create visually compelling content that communicates ideas and messages effectively to readers.

Lettering & Type Design

An image of a text with embossed letters and flowers around it.

Lettering and type is a specialized area of graphic design that involves creating custom letterforms and typefaces for various applications, such as branding, advertising, packaging, and editorial design.

Lettering and type designers create unique and memorable letterforms that are aesthetically pleasing and communicate the intended message effectively. They use a combination of traditional and digital tools to create custom hand lettering or typefaces that can be used across various media.

Examples of lettering and type creators include Jessica Hische, who is known for her hand-lettered designs and custom typefaces, and Erik Spiekermann, known for his work in typeface and branding, such as the typeface FF Meta and the redesign of Deutsche Bahn.

Lettering and type is a highly specialized field requiring technical and creative skills. It requires an in-depth understanding of typography, calligraphy, and design principles, as well as the ability to create custom lettering and typefaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Advertising Graphic Design

Advertising graphic is a type of graphic design that focuses on creating visual content for advertising campaigns across various media platforms, such as print, television, digital, and outdoor.

It’s a fast-paced and competitive field that requires creativity, strategic thinking, and an understanding of consumer behavior.

Examples of designers in this field include Paula Scher, who has created iconic branding and advertising campaigns for clients such as Microsoft, Citibank, and Coca-Cola, and David Droga, who is known for his work on award-winning campaigns for brands such as Google, Under Armour, and Hennessy.

For instance, Paula Scher’s work for the Citibank logo incorporated a bold and modern typeface that reflects the bank’s innovative and forward-thinking approach. At the same time, David Droga’s “The Great Schlep” campaign for Obama’s presidential campaign used humor and satire to engage young voters and raise awareness about the election.

Advertising is a challenging and dynamic field that requires a combination of creative and strategic skills.

In addition, it requires an understanding of branding, marketing, and consumer behavior and an ability to create visually compelling and effective advertising campaigns that resonate with the target audience.

Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental graphic design focuses on creating visual content for physical spaces, such as buildings, parks, museums, and other public areas. It’s a specialized field that involves creating visual elements that enhance the user’s experience and improve a space’s overall function and aesthetic.

Environmental graphic designers are responsible for creating signage, wayfinding systems, wall graphics, and other visual elements that help users navigate and interact with a space.

Examples of designers in the field of environmental graphics include Pentagram. This multidisciplinary studio has created signage and wayfinding systems for clients such as the New York Times, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Besides, BΓΌro North, a design studio based in Australia, has also created signage and wayfinding systems for clients such as the Australian National University and the Melbourne Museum.

Environmental graphics is a highly specialized field that requires a deep understanding of architecture, interior design, and urban planning. It requires creativity, attention to detail, and an ability to create functional and aesthetically pleasing visual elements while enhancing a space’s overall user experience.

User Interface Graphic Design

User interface (UI) graphics is a type of graphic design that focuses on creating visual elements for digital interfaces, such as websites, mobile applications, and software interfaces.

It’s a specialized field that requires a deep understanding of user experience (UX) principles and technical skills in design software and programming languages.

Examples of designers in this field include Mike Matas, who is known for his work on the original iPhone interface and for co-founding the digital publishing platform Push Pop Press, and Julie Zhuo, who was the Vice President of Product Design at Facebook and has played a key role in the creation of Facebook’s mobile app.

UI graphic design is a highly specialized field that requires technical skills, design principles, and an understanding of user behavior. In addition, it requires creativity, attention to detail, and an ability to create visually compelling and intuitive interfaces that enhance the user’s experience.

Graphic Illustration

Graphic illustration is a type of graphic design that focuses on creating visual content through drawings, paintings, and other hand-drawn or digital techniques.

Graphic illustrators work in various industries, from editorial and advertising to entertainment and publishing. They are responsible for creating illustrations that communicate ideas, evoke emotions, and capture the viewer’s attention.

For instance, Christoph Niemann’s cover design for The New Yorker magazine’s 2016 “On the Go” featured a simple yet striking illustration of a woman going out of a metro.

Image of the front page of The New Yorker magazine in yellow.

Image Source

Graphic illustration is a highly creative field that requires a unique blend of technical skills and creativity. It requires an ability to communicate ideas through visual storytelling, a mastery of illustration techniques, and an eye for detail and composition.

Bottom Line

Graphic design is a broad and dynamic field encompassing many different types, each with unique characteristics and applications.

From branding and packaging to motion graphic and print and publication, such creators play a crucial role in shaping the visual world around us.

By understanding the various types of graphic design, we can appreciate the skills, creativity, and artistry that go into creating the visual content we see every day.

Whether you’re a creator or simply an admirer of good works, this guide has hopefully given you a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse world of graphic design.


Here are a few frequently asked questions about the graphic design

What types of graphic design are there?

There are various types of graphic design, including branding and identity design, advertising and marketing design, web design, publication design, packaging design, and environmental design. Each of them has its own unique characteristics and features.

Some Awesome Video about Graphic Design Types:

TOP 8 Types of GRAPHIC DESIGN ( with TAGALOG explanation)

Kung graphic Designer ka o , nagsisismula pa lang maging designer panoorin mo ito dahil dito mo malalaman na may 8 types pala na klase ng graphic design…dapat alamin mo to brod….Β 

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