6 Types of Graphic Design

What comes to mind when you hear the words graphic design? Graphic design is everywhere from brochures and flyers to magazines and newspapers to social media campaigns and websites. But with a lot of different types of graphic designers out there, it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of graphic design, which is ultimately to communicate your vision to the audience and give solutions to the problems. In a world without graphic design, the messages we’re exposed to daily would be less engaging, less helpful, and would require much more of our attention to making sense of it all.

So, what are the different types of graphic design? Here are six types that you should know.

1.Marketing and Advertising

Graphic design has become synonymous with marketing and advertising. Ever since most industries have used graphic design to pitch products to consumers every day. And, for the most part, it’s effective.

Many of the famous brands you know today are some of the most successful marketers. They use the advantage of graphic design to inform you about their products, who they are, and to strengthen their brand. It makes and entices people to trust the brand and buy them. Today, however, most marketing and advertising-based graphic design are done digitally versus the older, more analog approach of cutting, pasting, and assembling.

2. Branding

Speaking of branding, you’d be having a hard time discussing graphic design without getting into branding.

Branding has become the be-all of graphic design, and it involves just about everything. From newspaper ads, magazines to social media to the commercial and television, branding helps companies communicate effectively to the consumer by establishing an identity and recognition. Branding is important because it can influence how people recognize a company and drive business as a result.

For example, a company that sells organic skincare may use a leaf or other organic imagery to demonstrate their products. They hope that you’ll associate organic living with what they have to offer. Brands like Nike have used imagery with great success. Most of us see the iconic “swoosh” and recognize the popular shoe company without even needing to see the name “Nike.” It’s all thanks to branding. And while branding is an umbrella term, graphic design is a big piece of the puzzle.


While this one isn’t technically a type of graphic design, it is a more recent trend worth knowing. Usability is all about designing for the user and it’s something that’s more important than ever. Thanks to the variety of devices we use today (think smartphones, tablets, and the like) graphic design needs to lend itself to different platforms.

Today, the graphic design goes beyond traditional graphics and is consumed on less-traditional platforms too. Take smart thermostats for example. While you likely don’t associate graphic design with your Nest, the graphics on the interface are used to communicate with the user. More so, the graphic designer who designed them had usability in mind.

4. Labels and Packaging

Look at the various products around you. Each one was once in the hands of a graphic designer. Every container, label, and even the box it comes in is the product of graphic design. This includes elements you might not even think about – like the nutrition labels on the foods we eat. While a bad design may discourage us from buying a product, a good design can create a sense of excitement and wonder as you open the packaging to reveal what’s inside.

5. Web Design

The most popular type of graphic design today is web design. Every webpage on every website you see has an element of graphic design. This includes the website itself but also includes many of the on-page elements, like animations, illustrations, and a company logo.

Many popular apps and social media platforms we use daily are rooted in web design too. While these might not feel like traditional websites, how everything is presented is all graphics-based web design. Thankfully, web design nowadays is easier than ever before. In just a few clicks, anyone can create a website and design a logo with little to no prior knowledge of graphic design tools or how to use them.

6. Print Design

In today’s digital age, marketing activities are done majorly online but that doesn’t mean print is dead. Every day, books, newspapers, and magazines are printed and made accessible to readers around the world, and each page is designed by someone. Everything from the pen and pad of paper on your desk to your stack of business cards is an instance of print design. 

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