The 7 Types Of Graphic Design You Need To Know About

Effective communication is at the heart of every successful business’ marketing strategy. And we see this implemented through everything from websites to social media, packaging, interfaces and more. So let’s take a look at the different types of graphic design  that your business could stand to benefit from too. 

Why is graphic design important to a business? 

Consumers need visual communication

90% of the information transmitted to our brain is visual in nature. This is why a business needs content that has a strong visual appeal to communicate its messages effectively. Add to that, 65% of people are visual learners. 

And according to research done by 3M, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than just text. That’s how a powerful graphic can communicate a compelling message, in perhaps just seconds. 

People prefer graphics

A lot of people simply prefer graphics to lengthy chunks of text, because the former is much easier to absorb. For example, if there is too much copy in an ad, a person would have to dedicate a lot more time to reading it and understanding it. Whereas an infographic could deliver them the same information in a much easier to understand and attractive way, that requires just a few moments to scan through.

Design allows for customization 

Since graphic designs allow for a lot of customization, you can get your marketing creatives to represent your brand in powerful ways. They can also help you establish your uniqueness and credibility as a brand. And they can support your brand recognition efforts, to help position your business in the marketplace.

Advertising opportunities

Whether you’re thinking about landing pages, social media marketing or email marketing campaigns, the need for solid advertising is everywhere. Businesses are constantly competing for their audiences’ attention. And having access to high quality and skillfully done graphic designs will help you stand out and stand apart.

Attracting, engaging and converting 

Let’s take a landing page for example. The main objective of having a landing page should be to attract, engage and finally convert the visitors to click on that call to action button. For this, you need a great design that helps convey a message in such a way that the customer is compelled to buy from you. Even on social media or in email marketing campaigns, the same rule applies. Graphic design plays a big role in getting you new business.

Achieving consistency with branding

The best way to optimize your marketing efforts is through the use of graphic design. This applies to any and all channels that you may be using. Being consistent in your marketing collateral helps in building brand identity and awareness among your target audience. When customers are comfortable with your brand, they see it as credible and become loyal to it.

Creating your footprint on social media 

You may be on all of the leading social media platforms right now. But without a clear and cohesive branding strategy that allows your customers to identify what you have to offer, you will get nowhere. With the right graphic designs, you will be able to reach out to wider audiences and engage them through the visuals that you create. Using branded graphic design, with consistency in styles and colors as well as typography helps you gain the attention and engagement of your audiences.

Gaining shelf appeal

Many shoppers will shop with their eyes. And so your product could be amazing, but if it lacks value because of how it’s packaged and presented, your customers will probably reach for other products. Graphic designs can help create an immersive unboxing experience for your customers. And that will help ensure that they keep coming back for more, while also recommending you to their friends and families.

Types of graphic designs and their uses 

Now. Let’s talk about the different types of graphic designs that are out there. And how you can maximize the potential of each of these, so that you get the highest possible returns.

Types of graphic design: User interface graphic design

A user interface graphic design is what is needed when you are creating a software or any digital interface. The point here is to make sure that the complete experience for the user is engaging and easy. 

You must remember though, that the keyword here is easy. The user will definitely appreciate the final look of the design of the interface. But if that comes at the cost of convenience, they will not hesitate to click away. Some of the main factors that you must adhere to in this type of graphic design, to make it effective are: 

  • Creating a personalized design experience for the customer. This will make the brand more authentic to them. For this you need to be able to make sure that the designs created are inspired, but never duplicated from another brand. 
  • Creating the perfect emotional experience is also important. This can be achieved by paying attention to color palettes, the elements and shapes used and the images that inspire particular emotions. 
  • Keep things clear. Everything on the interface needs to be labelled with intention and meticulous attention to detail. Keeping things simple is best in this type of graphic design and will help deliver a clearer message. 
  • Respect the rules of alignment in design. Your important content must be aligned according to how people would naturally scan a page (F pattern or Z pattern).

A good example of an effective UI design would be the card concept used by Dribble. They use cards to upload designs, allowing anybody who is scanning the site to browse easily. This card based design is just genius when it comes to featuring work, keeping it clean and simple so that site visitors stay engaged.

Types of graphic design: Advertising and marketing design 

Marketing and advertising would go nowhere without graphic design. Creative directors and art directors are both responsible for marketing creatives that range from brochure design and concepts to large scale projects like advertising campaigns and launches. 

Visual content is something that is highly engaging and companies depend on effective and impactful graphic designs so that they can tap into all the purchasing decisions of their target audience. Graphic designers who specialize in this type of designing have to work with different mediums so that they can effectively manage the needs and the wants of their clients. 

Most of the graphic designs in the advertising and marketing sectors were conventionally print based, but that is now rapidly undergoing a transformation into digital. This type of designing includes everything from social media graphic designs, to email marketing campaign designs and even content marketing. Below are some additional examples of advertising and marketing graphic design:

  • Postcards and flyers
  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Posters, banners and billboards
  • Infographics
  • Brochures (both print and digital)
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Signage and trade show displays
  • Email marketing templates
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Menus
  • Social media ads, banners and graphics
  • Banner and retargeting ads
  • Images for websites and blogs
To make this kind of graphic design effective, you need to focus on some key factors:
  • Having a thorough understanding of the needs of your customers is a must. You must be able to address the pain points of customers if you are to connect with them. Know how the product can offer them value and identify their needs so that your design aligns with them. The visual elements in the design should also put emphasis on how the product or service helps them overcome challenges. 
  • It also has to be immersive. A marker of a good graphic design, is that it has the capacity to engage people. They should be able to look at the design and immediately know how they can relate to it. If used right, graphic designs can become very immersive and interactive to customers. 
  • The design needs to be timely. This means that the graphic needs to be in line with the brand’s messaging. It also has to be synced with current topics and news as well as trends. There is no point in working on something that is outdated.
Types of graphic design: Publication graphic design 

Publications are basically content marketing in long-form. And they are made accessible to their audience through public distribution. In the past, they were usually available in print as magazines, books, and newspapers, but now, they are steadily making their way into the digital world as ebooks. 

When it comes to publication design there are certain aspects of design that are especially important. This includes pairing the perfect layout with the right typography and any accompanying artwork (photography, illustrations or graphics). Some examples of publication designs include: 

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Newsletters
  • Directories
  • Annual reports
  • Magazines
  • Product catalogs
Types of graphic design: Visual identity graphic design 

Your business is directly tied to your brand. No matter what types of graphic design you want to get done, the final product needs to be aligned with your brand identity. So it’s important that you put a lot of effort into creating your brand’s visual identity. 

A visual identity includes all of the imagery and graphic representations of your brand. And it helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors. The easiest way to describe it would be to say that it’s literally that your customers can see that’s related to your brand. From your logo, to your social media templates, to packaging and even the interiors of your store or office. 

In the process of developing a visual identity, you need to consider different color palettes, typography, and use cases. By use cases we mean asking yourself how and where will your logo be displayed? What types of marketing creatives and designs will you need? It’s important that you discuss each of these items with your designer so that they can create a visual identity that’s relevant to your industry, and stands apart from your competitors in an impactful way.  

An exceptionally designed logo and visual identity has the power to generate immediate brand recognition the more consistently it’s used.

Some of the key elements that make this a visual identity effective are: 
  • The ability to express the personality of the brand. Whether it is playful or luxurious, serious or quirky, there is always a brand personality. Your visual identity needs to reflect the particular type of brand personality you have. 
  • Its ability to stand apart from competitors, while remaining relevant to your industry. 
  • The way it represents the values of a brand. Graphic design is not just about creating something that is great to look at. Every brand has a core message that they want to get out there and visual identity design is all conveying that core message creatively.
Types of graphic design: Environmental graphic design

In this type of design the goal is to connect people to places that they are visiting. And this is done by embracing elements from many different disciplines. Sound too good to be true? Or maybe too complex to execute? Well let’s break it down a bit. 

With the right combo of graphics, architecture, interior design and landscaping along with some industrial designing, environmental graphic designers can successfully enhance user experiences. This usually takes the form of  making a given setting more informative, memorable or even easier to navigate. One good example would be wayfinding as it involves signage or visual cues to let people know where exactly they are and which direction they should be going in. 

To create designs that have this level of sophistication, environmental designers need to have a thorough understanding of architecture and graphic designing. Here are few things that make this type of design effective:

  • Ensuring that each design project is strategically completed, keeping the overarching goals in mind. Helping people find their way around and making navigation easier has to be at the heart of it all. 
  • Keeping things interactive where possible is also important. This will help with engaging people in more impactful ways.
Some examples of this kind of design would be:
  • Signage
  • Office branding and signage
  • Murals
  • Stadium branding and signage
  • Exhibition signage and elements
  • Event space designs
Types of graphic design: Packaging graphic design 

Most products need some form of packaging so that they are safe, ready for storage and can be distributed and sold. Packaging designs are useful for communicating directly with consumers and so, it can be a very powerful marketing tool. Every box, bag or canister that you see on the shelf of a supermarket aisle has its own story to tell. 

In fact, the whole point of investing in packaging designs is being able to tell the story of your brand to the consumer. Packaging designers work with concepts. They then go on to develop mockups and finally create the print ready files that suit the product. Needless to say, this needs a lot of expertise and a good understanding of industrial design as well as the manufacturing process. So providing your designer with as much detail as possible in your design brief essential. This includes consulting with your printer and securing templates or bleed sizes in advance of requesting your design. 

Since this specific type of design brings together so many different aspects of a brand, it is not uncommon for designers who are working on packaging designs to also create other assets for products like illustrations, photography and even visual identity. So when you’re working with your designers on a packaging design, consider whether there’s any aspect of it that you can use in other aspects of your marketing too. 

Types of graphic design: Motion graphic design 

In simple words, this is graphic design in motion. It can include animations, audio, typography, imagery, video, or any other kind of effect that is used in television, online media, or even film. The popularity of this type of design has increased dramatically in recent years, thanks to the technology advancements and video content becoming a forerunner as a result. 

Some forms of motion graphic design are still somewhat new to designers. And not everyone specializes in every style, so be sure to ask your designer if they’re comfortable working with the format you need. Some examples of this motion graphic design are: 

  • Title sequences and end credits
  • Social media ads
  • Animated logos
  • Trailers
  • Presentations
  • Promotional videos
  • Tutorial videos
  • Banner ads
  • GIFs

Usually, motion graphics designers develop a storyboard and then bring their concepts to life with the use of animations, traditional art or even video. This process helps to ensure that both client and designer are on the same page for projects that are especially complex and involve a lot of moving pieces. 

What types of graphic design will your brand use? 

Graphic design can often be oversimplified. But as we’ve tried to show in this blog, there are many types of graphic design, and each can be impactful for your brand in different ways.  It’s important to take the time to evaluate each, and consider how you can use them as part of your marketing. And to experiment as well. If you think something will work for your brand, give it a go with a low stakes test run. You never know. You might just stumble on a great marketing tool this way.