What Are the Different Types of Graphic Design?


Graphic design utilizes elements of typography, photography, illustration, animation and color to solve visual communication problems. Graphic designers strive to create effective visual solutions on behalf of their clients or employers to deliver a specific message. Graphic designs are produced in print, electronic and environmental media. The graphic design field is poised for 13 percent growth in the 2008-to-2018 period to a total employment of 323,100 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Corporate Graphic Design

  • Corporate graphic design encompasses the design and creation of business communications and identity programs, including logos, forms, publications, websites and branding. Clients and employers of corporate graphic designers include companies and institutions such as museums and hospitals. Corporate graphic designers work to plan and develop long-term strategies for creating a well-coordinated public look and graphic identity for the organization.

Publication Design

  • Magazines, newspapers and books all have a look and format created by graphic designers. The designer, often a full-time employee, is charged with creating effective design that clearly delivers content in an engaging way while reinforcing the editorial viewpoint of the publication.

    Publication designers work as art directors, graphic designers and production artists in coordination with the editorial staff of the publication. Art directors are responsible for the overall graphic design and supervising design staff as well as interfacing with outside vendors such as photographers, illustrators and printers.

Website Design

  • Graphic design for websites and electronic media is executed using specialized software such as Dreamweaver and Flash. Visual elements such as photos and illustration may be imported from programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. Interactive and animated elements may be used in web site design. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that graphic designers with website and animation experience have the best job prospects.

Environmental Design

  • Environmental design in the built and natural world is created and executed by graphic designers working closely with architects, real estate developers, government and business owners. They create signage and graphic systems for cities, airports, parks and college campuses. Many environmental graphic designers have knowledge of building design and construction.

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