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Digital Marketing 10 min read

Seven Types Of Graphic Design And Their Role in Your Business

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 23 Feb 2022

What pops into your mind when you hear the term graphic design? 

Do you think of the cute packaging your dog’s treats come in? Or how about that catchy ad for food delivery you saw online? Maybe you picture an ebook you finished recently. The truth is, all of these are examples of graphic design. 

In this article, Galactic Fed explores what exactly graphic design is while taking you through the seven fundamental types of design that play an essential role in the growth of your business. We also explain how deploying various graphic design techniques can benefit your company. 

Let’s get started with defining what graphic design is: 

What is graphic design?

Graphic design is the craft of skilled professionals who create visual content to communicate messages. 

By applying visual hierarchies and page layout techniques, graphic designers use typography and imagery to meet people’s specific needs and focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs, to optimize the user experience (UX.) 

Designers also create assets that help communicate your brand’s visual identity while helping to meet your business needs in the process. 

The seven most common types of graphic design

There are many types of graphic design. When it comes to playing a vital role in the success of your business, these seven types stand out: 

1. Advertising and marketing graphic design

2. Visual identity graphic design 

3. Publication graphic design

4. Motion graphic design

5. Web & UI graphic design 

6. Packaging graphic design 

7. Information and data visualization graphic design

Advertising and marketing graphic design

Digital marketing pros rely heavily on their graphic designers, whether in-house or through an agency. Graphic designers take the lead on creating everything from email marketing design and social media collateral to designs for entire paid media campaigns. 

Beach bag essentials

Source: Andie Swim

Visual marketing content is growing in popularity, given we as humans lean towards imagery to understand things. Firms need an effective graphic design to engage people at various stages in the buyer journey and across multiple platforms online. 

While our collective move online has meant graphic designers are, on the whole, kept busy crafting digital assets, print-centered marketing, and advertising is still needed and necessary in some cases.

Visual identity graphic design 

All businesses have a story to tell through their visual identities, from small tech startups and medium-sized e-commerce firms to large Fortune 50 companies. 

Squarespace logo.

Source: Squarespace

Visual identity graphic design encompasses all visual elements used to tell the story of your business. Think of it as the face of your brand told through images, colors, fonts, and shapes. Designers who specialize in building a visual identity for a business craft assets, including:

  • Logos,
  • Fonts, 
  •  Color palettes, and 
  • Imagery libraries 

These essential assets help communicate your brand’s personality. Alongside asset creation, designers commonly create visual brand guidelines that help everyone in your company use brand assets in the right way, with best practice tips and templates to use across various platforms. These vital guidelines ensure your brand is used consistently.

Publication graphic design

Back in the day, print was the primary medium for providing news and information. The printing industry was kept very busy releasing books, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and many other forms of publication graphic design. 

Today, the digital medium reigns supreme. The average person spends five to six hours a day on their mobile devices. So it should come as no surprise that people aren’t reading as many physical newspapers as they used to and are now getting their news online. Ebooks have replaced books, too.

Statistics of E-commerce in the United States

Source: Statista

Designers that specialize in publication graphic design create outlines and layouts of typically long-form content using carefully selected typography and curated artwork. Utilizing everything from imagery, graphics, and data visualizations, you can develop ebooks, reports, white papers, factsheets, and many more online publication assets.

Motion graphic design

This medium is very much the new kid of the block. Motion graphic design refers to the creation of moving graphics. They can take the form of GIFs, live illustrations, data visualizations, and more. Many companies embrace motion graphic design, going as far as creating moving logos. 

An astronaut swiping through different Galactic Fed designs.

Animated text, web banners, and moving ads are also popular forms of motion graphic design. 

Web, UX, and UI graphic design

Your firm’s site architecture, webpage layout, imagery, and typography found on your website are all part of web design. Web design is intrinsically linked with user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, aiming to create an interface that balances aesthetics with usability.

Web, UX, and UI designers create layers of interaction that appeal to our human senses, including sight, touch, hearing, and more. For these graphic designers, every visual element that a person will potentially interact with must be carefully designed to optimize an interface’s usability, using analytics data. Buttons, top-navigation menus, and advanced search are examples of web, UX, and UI design. 

DoorDash App user interface design.

Source: DoorDash

UI designers commonly follow design principles and usability guidelines to strike the right balance between aesthetic appeal and functionality. Designers who focus on UI design tend to specialize in web applications, mobile apps, and video games.

Packaging graphic design 

The packaging of your product has a dual role. It helps protect the product while storing, distributing, and selling it while also communicating directly to your customers. For these reasons, getting the right packaging design is extremely critical and valuable. 

ÖLOBOX smart pack snack.

Source: Behance

Packaging graphic designers create concepts, develop mockups, and craft print-ready files of your product. This requires a firm grasp of print processes and a thorough understanding of sustainable design and manufacturing at scale.

Information and data visualization graphic design

Information and data visualization design, often referred to as “data viz,” is the practice of making sense of data so that we humans can digest it as efficiently as possible. In other words, infographic design presents information that makes it most accessible and easily understood by everyone. 

Shipping and Airway lanes combined in one map.

Source: Python Maps 

Information and data visualization design draws on the expertise and skill sets of various disciplines, including visual design, technical writing, editing, and usability.

The benefits of excellent graphic design

You know great graphic design when you see it. Great graphic design can be compelling, whether it’s a hilarious ad that sticks with you long after seeing it or a color that becomes synonymous with a particular company. 

Let’s explore all of the benefits graphic design done well can bring to your firm, from improving sales and boosting your visibility to creating a shared connection and understanding of what you do and why you do it with your customers and staff. 

Improves sales 

Businesses that embrace design generate nearly 32% more revenue and 56% more shareholder returns.

McKinsey found that of the firms they surveyed, those that scored in the top quartile of their design index outgrew and outperformed the market average by two to one. This means design can be seen not as only a visual aesthetic, but as a strategic amplifier of your firm’s growth.

Boosts visibility 

Graphic design increases brand visibility and recognition of your product or service by efficiently connecting with your target audience. Realistic, inclusive, and one-of-a-kind graphics can capture your audience’s attention and set you apart from your competitors, enhancing your business image.

If you are a new business just starting out, brand identity building is vital to increasing market awareness. People are drawn to visuals that are unique and represent them while providing value. The creation of well-designed branding assets have the power to improve brand identification and your recall rate.

Builds trust 

By delivering strong, consistent messaging and promoting your products or services via bold graphic design, you can connect with your clients, bringing them closer to becoming loyal, repeat customers. 

Great design provides the opportunity to engage the people that matter to your business, building trust and reliability through your products and services.

Brings your team together

A brand is so much more than its offerings, and as we’ve explained earlier in this article, excellent design goes well beyond a logo or ad. Visual and brand design should be deeply embedded into everything a company engages, including the workplace.

Fostering a branded environment - remotely and in-person - uses graphic design to reflect and reinforce the firm’s brand through the use of typography, color, imagery, illustrations, and more.

Your firm can provide space to accommodate different people’s roles, functions, and behaviors through graphic design while promoting a shared and collective mission and set of guiding principles.

Harnessing the power of great design 

With a better understanding of what graphic design is, the difference between the different types of graphic design, and the benefits of embracing excellent design, we hope you can take away some ideas for enhancing the role graphic design plays within your company. 

From marketing and advertising to UI design and data visualization, Galactic Fed are firm believers in the power of great graphic design. We see the impressive results of our graphic design efforts and their impact on the companies we partner with.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed