We are naturally taught to consider all the given options and select the best one amongst those. This is a linear way of solving a problem or making a decision. Designers, on the other hand, come up with new solutions that fit the specific needs of the matter at hand. Types of graphic design can also be loosely translated to types of ways in which graphic designers think out of the box and make the world a better place with their designs.
That is quite a statement: designs make the world a better place.
Here is how (or importance of designs in today’s world):
- Better designs give people what they need, not shape the people around the existing products or services.
For example, not even 1.5 decades ago, we were using mobile phones on which we had to click on ‘1’ thrice to type the alphabet ‘C.’ The entire process was daunting. Now, we do not even need our mobile phones in our hands to type or send a message, our digital voice assistants do that. This shows the power of product and UI design.
- Different types of designs have led to fewer divisions amongst the people across countries.
For instance, with Coca-Cola’s Equality campaign, the brand expressed that they support human rights and stood against homophobia. Not only did this stir the wave of equality amongst all, but also led to Coca-Cola’s followers spreading the word. All this was made possible with a simple yet effective addition of a rainbow in the brand’s campaign designs.
- Besides these, there are organizational benefits of all types of graphic design:
A sense of unity and consistency across departments and customers worldwide (Tiffany and Co.’s blue or Nike’s Swoosh logo across products), added value in terms of appealing products, differentiating factors amongst competitors, a base for marketing strategies, to name a few.
There is a lot more to graphic design than what meets the eye. When employed effectively, graphic design can help you with brand recognition, marketing, customer acquisition, brand perception, sales, and brand loyalty.
Nonetheless, all these goals cannot be achieved by mere graphics. To leverage graphic design at its best, it is highly important to understand different types of graphic design.
5 Types of Graphic Design (and examples to learn from)
As you browse through the following types of graphic design, know that every graphic design type has its own purpose and technique that helps you get better at it. While one type may focus on aesthetics, the other could be based on interactivity.
The one thing every type of graphic design has in common is that all these are the route to converting an idea into a reality.
1. Web Design
With almost every business getting online, the requirement for an engaging and well-designed website is increasing. Web design is embedded in our day-to-day lives: every purchase you make, an article you read, and content you consume exists on the basis of web design.
Understand your website: What You Need to Understand About a Successful Business Website
Along with one of the most known, web design is also one of the most complicated graphic designs. It includes elements such as images, sound design, typography, color, page layout, wireframing, UI and UX design. To create a web design that stands apart from the crowd, all these elements are to be aligned perfectly.
More often than not, when you land on a website, you take a few seconds to figure out what the brand is about. However, Superlist, a productivity app, is designed precisely to express who they are, what they do, and what can you expect when engaging with Superlist.
The homepage shows work accessories which we use in our daily lives: keyboard, headphones, etc. It is quite engaging and comprises a copy that is precise and adds value. The web designer of the Superlist website carefully leveraged whitespace to their advantage.
While this website is easy-to-navigate, to avoid confusion, there is an arrow icon that indicates that there is more to the specific section and web page. You learn about the brand while staying engaged with the website; that is the goal of every web designer.
Web Design Includes
- Landing page
- Theme design
- UX and UI elements
2. Brand Identity Design
Similar to web design, every business needs a rock-solid brand identity that does not fade with any competition or changes in the market. By directing graphic design towards brand identity, you can create a memorable visual identity of your brand.
When getting your brand identity designed, you will have to encourage your designer to incorporate specific color combinations, typography, shapes, symbols, and overall tone that signifies your brand (values, mission, products, etc) and speaks to your target customers. It could take a relatively long time for your designer to be acquainted with your brand (as compared to other types of graphic design), but that will result in a well-designed brand identity design that can be used to build brand loyalty (which is worth all the time taken to understand a brand and designing brand identity elements).
Look for yourself, this ‘blog turned to beauty brand’ is a perfect example of brand identity design: Glossier.
Based on honesty and transparency, Glossier has a thoughtful brand identity design that has been enabling conversations amongst customers on social media. Signifying its brand tone, Glossier’s brand identity comprises people-centric photography and light colors.
This brand has been consistent with its typography and appropriate usage of whitespace. You can learn a lot about brand identity simply by looking at the alignment of Glossier’s logo on its website, going through any of Glossier’s newsletters, and exploring its packaging design.
Brand Identity Design Includes:
3. Environmental Graphic Design
It is one of the most versatile types of graphic design that includes multiple design elements: architectural design, interior design, typography, signage, print design, and branding, to name a few.
All of us have come across places that are dull and places that want us to stay longer because of their overall appearance and vibe. The difference between the two is environmental graphic design.
Also known as experimental graphic design, it is much more than murals on a wall. When aligned with your brand, environmental graphic design can enhance the experience of customers, motivate your employees, and become a shareable aspect of your brand; this leads to an increase in brand awareness.
A quick tip: A well-designed environmental graphic design should either answer a question (can I park here? Where am I currently? Does your store have wifi? etc). On the other hand, simplicity and quiet is also an option.
Learn from the most renowned brand: Apple.
The above-given image reminds most of us of our Apple store experience. With its similar color shelves, product placement, and billing desk, Apple has successfully created a branded environment that has seamlessly integrated our walk-in experiences with the brand’s identity.
Environmental Graphic Design Includes:
- Public installation
- Wayfinding systems
- Office designs
4. Advertising and Marketing Design
There is a lot of clutter in the advertising and marketing space. Gone are the days when words such as ‘hurry,’ ‘now,’ and ‘discount’ were placed on the shiny and colored sheets and were expected to do the job.
With numerous options and mediums to communicate, it is difficult to attract customers. Therefore, advertising and marketing graphic design is an essential part of marketing. Also, designers understand that there are different marketing design techniques for different mediums.
Email campaigns could be enhanced by brochures, you can add value to blogs by adding infographics, and using social media for more direct communication.
The brand that gives wings to beauty tells us how to get marketing graphic design right: Jacqueline Cochran Cosmetics.
Designed by Paul Rand, a legendary graphic designer who revolutionized the graphic design and marketing design industries, this advertisement cannot go unnoticed even decades after it was designed.
Its typography, imagery, colors, and every other lament works in perfect conjunction with each other and takes our focus to a well-intended place: Jacqueline Cochran Cosmetics.
By making a bold move of typing out the concept of the advertisement design, Paul Rand has confirmed the effectiveness of the ‘out of the box’ concept.
Advertising and Marketing Design Includes:
- Social media posts
- Email brochures
- Advertising posts
5. Packaging and Print Graphic Design
Graphic design is not limited to only your screens. Instead, it is very commonly used in vehicle wrap designs, eBooks, product packaging design, book covers, billboards, magazines, and various other print mediums.
Alongside conventional graphic design, technological advances have certainly helped brands reach out to their customers in physical formats as well.
While packaging and print graphic designs are different, the two are on the same scale when it comes to types of graphic design, i.e. print-medium.
For perspective, when you walk into a store, your eyes automatically notice bright-colored products with a clear brand name. As you proceed to explore them, you try to get as much information about the product as possible. A well-designed product packaging will help you with it.
Similarly, the cover of a book does play a role in the minds of its readers. Based on color psychology, when design elements are stripped perfectly on a book cover, the artist is presumed to have a better understanding of their book (as they could represent the book with no words effectively).
Related: 7 Tips for Successful Print Design
Designed by DesignBro, this example of packaging design speaks clearly to the customers and is designed to not last on shelves for a long time: Black Sheep Kitchen.
With a carefully chosen color palette, this bacon almond cheddar packaging is clear, concise, and charming. The product labeling is also on-point and leaves no room for confusion. The back of the product is meant to leave a smile on your face, just like Black Sheep Kitchen’s food.
As the industries are embracing different types of graphic design, it just seems to be the beginning of a bright change in the world of graphic design.
From adding value to the lives of customers’ to bringing commercial success to brands, various types of graphic design have been serving us for a long time, and it seems to only go upwards.
The only thing to consider before any of these designs: be authentic to your customers; your designs are chances you get to convey your messages, values, ideas, and announcements to your customers.
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.