Graphic Design: What Is It? And What Are Its Types?

In our world right now, graphic design has become one of the most popular forms of designs out there. Everywhere we look, we see products of graphic design: from brands and logos of businesses to websites and infographics to magazines and other publication materials. And what’s more, a lot of people have shown interest in becoming a graphic designer, thus making this job lucrative and competitive to some extent. 

Long story short, it seems like graphic design has conquered the world. But what exactly is graphic design? And what are its different types? 

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What Is Graphic Design?

A simple way of describing graphic design is that is the art and craft of creating visual content to communicate messages. A more technical way of describing it is that it is the process of visual communication and problem-solving that is achieved through the use of typography, photography, and illustration. 

Whichever definition you prefer, all graphic designers have one primary task: they create and combine symbols, images, and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. The visual representations can be physical, digital, or anywhere in between. For this task, they use typography, visual arts, and page layout techniques to create visual compositions that actually optimize the user experience.

With all of that said, it is no wonder why in addition to being considered as an art form, graphic design is also considered as a subset of visual communication and communication design. 

What Are the Types of Graphic Design?

Generally speaking, graphic design can be applied to a multitude of situations. To begin with, it can be applied to everything visual: from road signs to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandums to reference materials. Additionally, it can also be applied in decoration, scenery, visual storytelling. Basically, graphic design is versatile — it can be applied literally on everything.

As of right now, graphic design is widely used in the world of business and marketing. This is because graphic design helps businesses in promoting their products and implementing their brand identity. 

To help you see just how useful and applicable graphic design is, here are the various types of graphic design that are the most commonly known.

Corporate Design

In the world of business, every entrepreneur knows that it is highly important to be unique. After all, there are literally millions of businesses all over the world, so standing out is incredibly daunting. This is where a type of graphic design, by the name of corporate design, swoops into the rescue — because the corporate design will help you achieve brand recognition. 

Corporate design is a broad term that is used to cover two main elements: design (the logo, colours, typography) and strategy (branding). To expand on these elements further, let’s discuss them one by one. 

  • Logo. All of us are aware of what a logo is. It is a graphic mark or a symbol that is used as an identification for the company, product, or brand. With corporate design, businesses will have a planned logo design that is recognizable and memorable. And that is incredibly important because a memorable logo has the potential of attracting clients.
  • Colour. In addition to the logo design, a graphic designer will also take into consideration the colours to be used in designing a logo. The colours that the designer will use should also be used on the company’s website, advertising, signage, packaging, and other business ventures. 
  • Typography. Fonts play a significant role in logo design. If the designer chooses the wrong font, it can ultimately ruin the company’s brand image. 
  • Branding. Essentially speaking, a good brand identity design differentiates your product or services from your competitors. It also provides customers with a strong reason to choose your product. With corporate design, a business will be able to achieve this ideal brand identity.
  • Publication Graphic Design

    Publication design is the process of putting together the images and text to support the content visually. With this kind of graphic design, there are a few things that a designer should take into consideration: where the design will be published and which format is accepted by the publisher. 

    There are a lot of publication products out there that make use of publication graphic design. Some of these are as follows:

    • Newspapers
    • Books
    • Newsletters
    • Directories
    • Annual reports
    • Magazines
    • Catalogues

    With this kind of graphic design, the designer should be well-acquainted with the traditions and practices of the publisher they will be working for. After all, each type of publication has a different purpose, so each of them will require a different design. Publication designers actually have the tendency to do freelancing work as there are various platforms in the publishing industry. Some of the common platforms include agencies, book publishing companies, magazine publishing companies, and many more.

    Environmental Graphic Design

    At first glance, you might think that this kind of graphic design has anything to do with Mother Earth or saving the planet. In reality, that isn’t actually the case. In reality, environmental graphic design, also known as experimental graphic design, is all about communicating a story by combining various elements like colour, material, pattern, etc., with the architectural features of the brand. In other words, this graphic design aims to connect the people to places and make their experience unforgettable, informative, and easier to navigate. 

    Packaging Graphic Design

    Packaging doesn’t just mean simply packaging — it doesn’t mean a wrapper to protect the product. Instead, packaging graphic design aims to make the packaging of the product attractive for the consumer as well as to communicate a brand story. Essentially, a good packaging designer should know how to develop the shape, graphics, and style on a package that will undoubtedly grab the consumer’s attention.

    Website Graphic Design

    Websites are helpful in driving a company’s business forward. And that is exactly the reason why graphic design should be implemented on them. A good website design can help any business in attracting potential customers and increase sales. And with that, a graphic designer will then help your company build a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website that is sure going to arouse the curiosity in the customers. 

    Advertising Graphic Design

    Simply put, advertising design is all about the creation and organization of the visual artwork that will be used in the advertisements for product and services. In other words, advertising graphic design is all about persuasion. 

    That is why those graphic designers who specialize in this particular type of graphic design do not just focus on creating a superb design. They also have to know how to sell a product and capture consumers’ mind. And since advertising is a competitive industry, advertising graphic designers have to exert a lot of effort to stand out.

    Book Cover Design

    There is a wildly popular saying that goes “don’t judge a book by its cover.” And though this saying means well, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely true. In fact, the primary reason why that saying exists in the first place is that people do judge a book by its cover. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, book covers are a marketing tool — some people will literally buy books just because they look pretty. That said, it makes sense that publishers would make sure that their book covers are as aesthetically pleasing and attractive as possible. 

    That is the purpose of a book cover designer: to create a book cover that communicates the story of the book and the message through multiple colours, fonts, images, symbols, and the like. A book cover designer should also understand the current trends so that they will know what makes a marketable cover. 

    Brochure Design

    Brochures are an incredibly important marketing tool. They help provide information about the products and services of any company as well as drive people to their business. And for that, it is crucial for brochures to have a great design. Unappealing brochure design can fail to create the first impression, but if it is professionally designed, then it can have a desirable impact on the target audience. 

    Label Design

    Kind of similar to the logo, label design is a visual that differentiates your product from your competitors in the crowd. A label generally holds information such as its maker, manufacturing, expiry date, ingredients, warnings, and many more. Because of that, a label is considered to be helpful in convincing the customer to make a buying decision. 

    Before designing a label, the graphic designer should first know a couple of things in order to create the ideal label design. The things that a graphic designer should know about are the following:
    • The logo design of the company
    • Product details
    • Client preferences from packaging types, shapes, to colours
    • The copy (text)
    • Branding outlines

    3D Graphic Design

    As the name suggests, 3D graphic design is the art of creating a design on the X-Y-Z scale (width, height, and depth) which can be rotated and viewed from all angles in real-time. This is actually a type of graphic design that is gaining a lot of traction these days. That is because companies would want to convey their message in the simplest form for their more complex and technical topics. The popularity of 3D graphic design can also be attributed to the rapid growth of a visual industry.

    Mobile App Design

    Almost everyone all over the world spends a ton of hours per day on their mobile devices. And the majority of that time is spent on apps, thus making the mobile industry a fast-growing one. 

    Because of the growth of the mobile industry, there is also a rise of mobile app designers. With a great mobile app design, the app will not only look beautiful but it will also build a relationship between the app and the user. In order for mobile apps to remain marketable, professional mobile app designers should also be aware of the latest trends.

    T-Shirt Design

    Something that not a lot of entrepreneurs realize is that they don’t always have to focus on expensive marketing efforts like TV commercials, newspaper ads, and the like. Sometimes, the simple yet direct marketing efforts can also be just as helpful. And one simple marketing effort is a printed T-shirt. 

    Custom T-shirts can help companies build their brand identity. This is because they carry the brand message in a more casual and friendly way, thus attracting the attention among the masses.

    Stationery Design

    Another great way to popularize any business is through great stationery. Having an aesthetically pleasing stationery design — such as letterheads, business cards, folders, envelopes, and the like — is a great way of showing your professionalism and of making an impression on your clients. 

    Motion Graphic Design

    Motion graphic is a kind of animation with a text as an important component. It is a way to communicate with audiences with music and compelling content. With that, motion graphic design has become one of the most popular styles among marketers. Some of the most common examples of this kind of design are videos, animated text, video games, and presentations. 

    Vehicle Wrap Graphic Design

    Vehicle Wrap Graphic Design, also known as vehicle advertising, is literally just graphic design plastered all over a vehicle. Out of all the popular forms of advertising (TV commercials, billboards, etc.), vehicle wrap design is actually one of the most cost-effective and economical forms of outdoor advertising. 

    While vehicle wrap design is an incredibly useful marketing tool, it should be noted that it is important to design it right. The designer should be aware of the proper use of colours as well as the logo design, images, and photographs. 


    Graphic design has become one of the fast-growing fields of design. You can literally see traces of graphic design everywhere we look nowadays, especially that this is widely used in business and marketing. From websites to advertisements to infographics to T-shirts and even vehicles — graphic design is everywhere. Because of the rapid growth of this form of design, it is then no wonder that over time, it has developed various types. And in addition to that, it should also be not a surprise anymore if the rise of graphic design continues to skyrocket in the near future.