8 Types of Graphic Design – Everyone Should Know

Many people think of graphic design as a single discipline, being completely oblivious of its depth and adaptability. And all of us have a unique impression in our minds about this subject. If you ask five people about their understanding of graphic design, they are likely to come up with different answers. Some may relate it to websites, some may say it is about creating brochures, and some think of it as digital design construction. And you would find it fascinating that none of these references are wrong!


Yes, graphic design splits into different categories as per the nature and area of specialisation. Although the elements used in graphic design are common to all, their usage and combinations may be distinctive. What are these types? And how can numerous businesses take advantage of all of these specialisations? Let us delve deep into the discussion to get answers!

Types of Graphic Design: 8 Broad Categories

  1. Visual Identity Graphic Design
  2. Advertising & Marketing Graphic Design
  3. UI Graphic Design
  4. Publication Graphic Design
  5. Packaging Graphic Design
  6. Motion Graphic Design
  7. Art & Illustration Graphic Design
  8. Environmental Graphic Design

Graphic design is a vast concept that covers different aspects of designing in a variety of industries. The notion uses visual representations and compositions to communicate an idea or information to the target observers. These days, almost all kinds of businesses are demanding the most high-grade graphic designing services to reach out to the masses. But the question is, do all graphic designers deliver the same results?

No, graphic designers specialise in either one of these eight categories or a group of similar ones to serve their designs. You must also know about these broad types of graphic design to make the right choice of service provider.

#1 Visual Identity Graphic Design

A business becomes a brand when people can identify its uniqueness and story as one of a kind! Visual identity graphic design is the process of crafting these stories and giving them a creative life. Graphic designers work to communicate the brand’s personality and motto by using images, shapes, colours and tones in the narrative. The careful and detailed use of imagery, emotions, brand ideology and message leaves a lasting impression on the target audience.

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  • Specialisations:
    • Visual identity graphic design is a well-balanced progression of all the elements of designing. There has to be brand consistency and design variation in every outcome. A graphic designer working in this category needs to have the working knowledge of all shapes, colours, designs, tools, moods and emotions used in the concept. The creative and conceptual skills of designers working in this category must be top-notch to meet the latest trends.
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Brand Logos: Creating your brand logo is a part of this category.
    2. Promotional Campaigns: You can use this designing field to create numerous promotional campaigns.
    3. Catalogues: Your business catalogues also represent identity to the consumers.
    4. Image Libraries: Image libraries are also a part of this graphic design category.
    5. Specialised Representations: You can ask the designers to create a specialised visual identity for your brand.

#2 Advertising & Marketing Graphic Design

Well, this category is what most people think graphic designing is for! Advertising and marketing graphic design cover both digital and print media advertisements to attract customers. It is the creation of perfect posters, hoardings and pamphlets that creatively explain the ideas, offerings and motto of your brand. Every product under this category holds a dominant place in the market and promotional campaigns of brands.

Advertising Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • Graphic designers working for advertising and marketing crusades need immense knowledge of colour palettes, Typography, behavioural psychology, branding, highlights and balanced creativity to create eye-catching visuals. Contrary to popular belief, this category is not an easy job of graphic designing. Designers spend hours highlighting their clients’ products and services in the most creative ways possible!
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Print Media Campaigns: Graphic designing for print media includes brochures, flyers, posters, postcards, magazines, catalogues, newspaper ads, vehicle wraps, and so on. Colour palettes used in print media are quite different from those used in digital media graphic designs.
    2. Digital Media Campaigns: Digital posters or images, infographics, trade show displays, videos, social media ads, images for promotional blogs, etc., are a part of this category.
    3. Public Display Campaigns: Billboard displays, Signages, and hoardings fall under this category.

#3 UI Graphic Design

UI (User Interface) graphic design is another category that deals with the creation of attractive and eye-pleasing user interface designs for a device or application. In this context, designers deal with putting Typography, colours, images and shapes together to create the perfect visual experience for users. Brands that have their mobile application and website require the best UI graphic designing services to enhance their platform’s user experience.

User Interface Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • UI design focuses on creating the on-screen graphic elements that we see visually, like menus, buttons, micro-interactions, and more. Designers in this field operate closely with UX and UI web designers to help understand the required size and appearance of every design. Perfecting design placements and tool settings in this arena is not a one night job! You must lookout for a specialised service provider to get this project done!
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Video game Interfaces: The interface of every page of a video game requires detailed designs by professionals.
    2. Website Interfaces: Graphics for every page of a website are also a part of this design.
    3. App Graphic Designs: Designs for mobile applications and their interfaces.
    4. Theme Designs (For Shopify, Magento, etc.): Creating and designing themes for websites like Shopify and Magento using presets is a part of UI.

#4 Publication Graphic Design

As we commonly know, publications are kinds of media houses that communicate through the public distribution of printed products, like books, magazines, newspapers, catalogues, etc. Publication graphic design is about creating covers and visual graphics for different projects of a said publication. This category deals more with the print media style of graphic designing. Colours and alignment play a crucial role here.

Publication Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • The significant rise of publication media in recent times has pushed graphic designers to use new and creative elements in this process. Although the major elements in this graphic design are no different than the rest, the focus here is on beautifying the visuals to attract more customers. After all, no matter how much they ask us to not judge a book by its cover, we end up doing the same, more often than not!
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Different Types of Books: The examples include novels, picture books for children, textbooks, and so on.
    2. Newsletters & Newspapers: All the advertising, promotional and entertainment sections of these papers require special designs.
    3. Product Catalogues & Magazines: Every page of these products is the decorative work of an efficient graphic designing team!

#5 Packaging Graphic Design

In this competitive consumer market, every brand is trying to prove its superiority to the consumers and leaving no stone unturned to attract them. In that attempt, brands are paying huge amounts for packaging graphic designs to get the most attractive packaging for their products. The ideology in this designing process is to create a visually appealing package for bottles, boxes, bags, containers and other packaging materials.

Packaging Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • Print media specialisation is a must for designers in this case. They have to be well-versed with the technicalities of designs so that the printed images and graphics do not split into pixel boxes. Yes, designers also need a keen and detailed understanding of industrial manufacturing designs. Visual identity, photography and illustrations are the three major elements here. The print-ready files may go on the surface of a metal container or a jute bag. So, designers have to be precise with every component of graphic design.
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Packaging designs may go on any kind of material or substance that brands use for packing their products. Designers create mockups and files that brands put directly on the packaging items. As expressed by the experts, graphic designers should be jack-of-all-traders here!

#6 Motion Graphic Design

If we put the literal translation of this category, the graphic designs that are in motion are what we know as motion graphic designing. Graphic designers working in this category are mostly a part of online media, television and films. Some of them also work with production and animation houses to create visually attractive motion graphics for brands. In this digital era, the demand for motion graphic designers is increasing rapidly.

Motion Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • Graphic designers who specialise in graphic animation, audio, videography, imagery, and moving sequences work under this section of the industry. The idea is to create moving graphics that will appear in different parts of a video. These parts centrally focus on image slides of graphic design concepts that we put in sequences for a better flow. Motion graphic designs are now prominent on all types of digital media and social media platforms.
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. GIFs & Tutorial Videos: GIFs are present in between videos or on websites that attract our eyes due to their constant motion.
    2. Presentations or Product Teasers: The new trend of launching product teasers or presentations also requires motion graphic designs.
    3. Animated Logos: Animated Logos usually blink or move instead of looking like a still image.
    4. End Credits & Title Sequences: The end credits of movies and YouTube videos have graphic design images put in motion.

#7 Art & Illustration Graphic Design

This category of graphic design requires artistic illustrations to express a significant idea or a form of original artwork. Storytelling illustrations are a part of this category. In general, this type of graphic design does not concern any brand or product. However, fashion or production houses may use artists from this category to carry out promotional campaigns.

Art Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • Artistic mindset and fusion of different colours are specialisations of graphic designers working in this arena. They are masters of creating visually appealing posters and hoardings to deliver a message that concerns or depicts a certain type of art.
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Stock images, comic books, movie posters, promotional posters, graphic patterns for textiles and album art designs are all a part of art graphic designs. Some designers may also use the elements of this design to express a different ideology. Book covers and picture books may also use these illustrations to create impactful visuals. This concept of art is vast and involves lots of designing samples.

#8 Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental graphic design is another broad discipline of graphic designing that focuses on giving informative spaces more interactive and visually appealing to the viewers. The purpose of this design is to connect people to places and deliver a memorable experience to them. Whether it be backgrounds in museums or signages in an art auditorium, environmental design covers all these aspects.

Environmental Graphic Design
  • Specialisations:
    • Graphic designers working under this genre must know how to deliver a message precisely using interesting designs. They must be well-versed with geometry, alignment, imagery and colour pallets to make impactful designs. The precision and knowledge of a designer reflects in the environmental designs created by them.
  • Perfect Examples:
    1. Hoardings & Signage: Hoardings and Signage boards that deliver a social or political message.
    2. Museum Exhibitions: Museums are likely to have memorable and decorative backgrounds.
    3. Branding For Stadiums: Cricket and football stadiums also use the work of environmental graphic designers to decorate the space.
    4. Retail Store Landscapes & Interiors: Landscapes of retail stores and supermarkets usually have directional signs and informative guidelines with product branding elements.

Key Takeaway: Always Assign The Job To The Right Designers

Now that you understand every category of graphic design and the perfect fields for the same, you can assign the job to the suited designers. For a better alternative, you can contact a resourceful agency like VOWELS that covers all these categories and offers end-to-end graphic designing solutions. Connect with us and get the best outcome from a team of exceptional graphic designers. Contact our team at your convenience to get a fresh look for your revered business.