8 Common Types of Graphic Design Which Are Used for Different Purposes

Graphic Designing

7 minute read

The purpose of graphic design is to make a creative and appropriate use of visuals to convey messages with a bigger impact. But what is graphic design? Graphic design is a creative combination of imagery, color, typography, and form and there are different types of graphic design, which have their own specialty and used to serve diverse purposes in diverse industries. Each type of graphic design is unique because of the fact that different graphic design techniques demand different sets of expertise and design ideas. Designers have their own area of expertise, but they should make it a point to learn other graphic design techniques as well because the industry is constantly changing and they should make learning a constant habit to keep themselves updated about the latest trends and stay competent.

8 Common types of graphic design which are used for different purposes

If you are a newbie designer or if you are someone who’s trying to find out the ideal graphic design solutions for your business, you may consider looking at different graphic design examples and you should take a look at these 8 common types of graphic design, which are popularly used across diverse industries:

  1. Graphic Design for Branding

    Graphic Design for Branding

    A business uses its branding strategy to get closer to its customers and to create a loyal customer base. A brand is the connection between a business and its customers and it is a path for businesses to communicate their philosophies and characters to their customers. Graphic design that is meant to promote a company’s branding objectives makes use of visuals such as shapes, images, and color to portray a brand’s persona in the most accurate and desired manner. If you are looking to specialize in branding-specific graphic design, you should be typically in charge of creating logos, image libraries, typography, and color palettes that would perfectly reflect a business’s branding philosophy. Apart from designing visuals for corporate stationery and business cards, you would also be responsible for creating style guides to describe best practices and to maintain visual branding consistency across all media. You should have a passion for working with designs that can be used across all media and for performing research to know about trends, competitors, and industry developments as a whole. You should also develop your communication skills in order to be able to work with brand stakeholders closely and deliver desired outcomes.

  2. Graphic Design for Marketing & Promotions

    Graphic Design for Marketing & Promotions

    Visuals are mainly used to serve a company’s marketing and advertising needs. Great visuals motivate customers and engage them with the brand. Graphic designers practising in this field work closely with the top company officials and the marketing team to create visual assets as per marketing strategies. If you are a creative designer who is looking to explore the marketing and promotion fields, you would be asked to create diverse marketing collateral for print and digital media. These types of designs were previously used only for print media, but these days, they are used as powerful content marketing tools in digital advertising. Typical outcomes of marketing graphic design include infographics, vehicle wraps, brochures, flyers, and postcards, PowerPoint Presentations, signage, magazine and newspaper ads, posters, banners, brochures, email marketing templates, banner ads, social media ads, blog and website images etc. Expertise on creating different designs for print as well as online environments is a necessity.

  3. Graphic Design for User Interface

    Graphic Design for User Interface

    This graphic design process is related to the creation of user-friendly interfaces. It involves work for enhancing users’ visual experience by improving the looks and adjusting the placement of graphical elements such as menus and buttons. The purpose of UI design is to strike a perfect balance between technical functionality and aesthetic appeal. UI designers create interfaces for mobile apps, games, desktop apps, and web apps. They collaborate with UX designers and UI developers to generate diverse outcomes such as game interfaces, app design, theme design, and web page design. UI designers should have a thorough knowledge of responsive design and programming languages such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

  4. Graphic Design for Publication

    Graphic Design for Publication

    Publications are content pieces that are distributed to the public. Publication design is a classic type of design that we commonly find in books, catalogs, magazines, and newspapers. This type of design requires a perfect combination of typography and imagery including graphics, photography, and illustrations. This type of creative design is used to create the graphical layouts of annual reports, magazines, catalogs, books, newspapers, directories, and newsletters. Professionals designing publications should be experts at layout and organizational skills and they should have a deep sense of color management, digital publishing, and printing.

  5. Packaging Graphic Design

    Packaging Graphic Design

    Packaging design is an extremely important marketing tool that allows a company to communicate with its customers and to strengthen its branding strategies. With every container, can, box, or bottle that a business uses, there exists a very effective branding opportunity. This field of design involves concept and mockup development and the generation of print-ready formats. Packaging design is a vast field and it involves multiple facets of design. No wonder why packaging designers are often found to be experts at other design aspects such as illustrations, photography, and branding. Apart from having a strong knowledge of print and industrial design, packaging designers should have strong concept development and problem solving abilities. They should be aware of the latest design trends and they should work closely with marketers and manufacturers to be able to fulfill branding objectives.

  6. Motion Graphic Design

    Motion Graphic Design

    The purview of motion graphics includes any imagery in motion and typical examples are animation, typography, audio, and videos that are used in television, film, and online media. Content based on motion graphics has emerged as a king ever since the rise in popularity of video content and advancements in technology. It was previously used mostly in films and television, but today, motion graphics are used widely in major digital platforms and this has given rise to new opportunities in the field. Motion graphics are found in animated logos, websites, advertisements, trailers, promotional videos, title sequences, apps, banners, GIFs, video games, tutorial videos, etc. The process of creating motion graphics starts with the creation of storyboard and then progresses through steps that involve the creation of animation, traditional art, and video. If you are looking to create a career in it, you should consider developing your skills on 3D modeling, marketing, and coding.

  7. Environmental Graphic Design

    Environmental Graphic Design

    This type of creative design is used to make spaces more memorable by making them interesting and easy to navigate. Environmental designs connect people with places and they are commonly found in museum exhibitions, signage, retail stores, wall murals, stadium branding, office branding, public transportation spots, conferences, events, etc. A particular type of environmental design is wayfinding and it includes visual cues, strategic signage, and landmarks that would allow people to identify their current location and to become aware of the routes that they should take to reach their destination. In fact, it is a multidisciplinary practice that involves the creative aspects of industrial, architectural, interior, graphic, and landscape designs. Environmental designers need to take design ideas from these different fields to develop concepts and give a practical shape to their design ideas. Designers practising in this field have design experience in the field of architecture too. They should have in-depth knowledge of industrial design concepts and should be able to draw architectural plans. So far, environmental designs have been a part of print content, but today, digital interactive displays dominate the present-day market because of their effect in generating stronger customer engagement and response.

  8. Illustration-based graphic design

    Illustration-based graphic design

    Did you know that illustration and graphic art are two different areas of specialization? Designers create visuals for the purpose of communication and use visuals as a problem-solving technique. On the other hand, artists or illustrators create original art in diverse forms including fine art, decoration art, and storytelling illustrations. Creative art and illustration are used in different contexts as part of promotional designs that are meant for commercial use. Creative art can be incorporated in T-shirts, medical designs, stock images, websites, textile patterns, graphic novels, video games, comic books, book covers, album art, motion graphics, infographics, picture books, technical illustration, concept art, sports illustration, etc. Graphic artists work closely with art directors, managers, marketers, editors, and writers to create diverse creative designs while using multiple concepts and techniques. Graphic illustrations are often found to be a combination of animation, fine arts, and architecture. Most companies today look for graphic designers who specialize in developing graphic art as well as illustrations.


The success of your promotional campaigns or branding strategies would depend on the graphic design styles that you would use for a particular project or campaign. Your visuals should be able to convey your messages clearly and portray your brand’s character in an ideal way. You should therefore make sure that you identify the right designers for your campaigns so that you can meet campaign objectives and strengthen brand awareness. Reputed creative design services hire experienced graphic designers who have solid expertise in generating innovative designs for diverse projects.