A Complete Overview of Graphic Design

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“90% of the information transmitted to the brain from the world around us is visual.” (Carter). In order for a business to be successful in converting customers effectively, the brand needs to engage with audiences using visual communication styles. Graphic design provides consumers with a visual way to know what your business does and what your values are.

This article covers Graphic Design in its entirety. By the end, readers will have a comprehensive understanding of the subject. We will discuss the different types of graphic design, their real-world applications, as well as some information on effective various graphic design software that’s readily accessible.

Definition of Graphic Design


Graphic design is defined as the art or skill of combining text and pictures with other design elements to convey information or create an effect.

In terms of marketing, graphic design is all about communicating and promoting a brand in a visually appealing way that adheres to the company’s visual identity. “60.8% of marketers claim that visuals are integral to successful marketing.”

Types of Graphic Design


It is important to understand the different forms of graphic design. It’s important to make an informed decision when figuring out what kind of graphic design is best for your purposes.

There are eight different types of graphic design. They are:

1. Web Design

A form of digital media that focuses on the process of creating visually appealing websites that are easy to navigate. The key word here is easy because the most effective websites are also the most user friendly.

2. User Interface (UI) & Interactive Design

This is the process of creating design layouts and forms that are visually pleasing. The main thing here is building a digital interface that effectively combines an interactive user experience with the digital medium’s complex computing algorithms.

3. Packaging Design

Product packaging is everywhere. It focuses on creative branding strategies for advertisement designs. This includes the technical aspects of ad design in terms of manufacturing, 3D mockups, and printing.

4. Illustration

The foundation of illustration designs is the artistic and physical act of drawing. Because of this, fundamental principles like form, color, and composition are of great importance. Graphic illustrators have to build visually appealing identities, cover art, logos, etc. that are cohesive and have purpose.

5. Advertising & Marketing Design

Most organizations rely on some form of visual advertising and marketing to help form an internal brand identity and/or to attract customers. Designs are created based on data collected when defining and segmenting the target audience.

6. Motion Graphics & Animation Design

Balancing technical and creative design skills, this is a relative new field in graphic design due to recent technological advances. This kind of design is heavily involved with the entertainment and storytelling industries.

7. Game Design

Like UI and motion graphics, game design works at the forefront of technology and creativity. Game design is present on a range of mediums and complexities depending on the game in question.

8. Publication & Typographic Design 

The focus here is on the organization, management, and development of massed-produced visual media forms like books or magazines. Cohesive and effective visual media designs here requires experience coordinating layout designs for editors, typesetting communication, and printing. The difference here is publication design starts in a digital medium and ends up as part of a physical thing.


Basic Graphic Design Principals


Even though there is variation present between types of graphic design, all of them adhere to twelve overarching design principles. These things have to be taken into account in order to create effective and successful graphic designs.  These principles are:

1. Contrast– using visually different colors, brightness, and highlights to create focal points

2, Balance– an even distribution of visual weight in order to prevent visual tension

3. Emphasis– Parts of a visual meant to be the purpose or focal point for viewers

4. Proportion– the various sizes and placements of design elements relating to the distribution of visual weight

5. Hierarchy– a comparison concerning the level of significance each design element is intended to have from most important to least important.

6. Repetition– Design elements like color, font, images, and textures included in a visual that are used or reused more than once in order to cultivate visual consistency

7. Rhythm– the overall flow, order, and consistency of a visual design

8. Patterns– Any repetition of the lines, shapes, colors, and forms consistently included in a visual design

9. White Space– unmarked or empty areas present in visual designs that surround design elements, also known as the negative design space

10. Movement– The overall organization of design elements that interact and guide the viewer’s eye in a systematic or intentional way.

11.Variety– The consideration and possible inclusion of diverse design elements of a visual like overall look, general feel, structuring, and rules that don’t adhere to one another. This is the opposite of Unity.

12. Unity– The consideration and possible inclusion of the design elements that adhere to the same overall look, general feel, structuring, and rules. This is the opposite of Unity.

When implemented effectively, these principles create graphic design visuals that are comprehensive, visually appealing, and are more likely to produce the intended reaction from audiences.

Most Used Software for Graphic Design


It is vitally important when creating high-quality designs and images that you choose the right graphic design software for the job at hand. Whether you are creating illustrations and logos, or looking to edit photos and design website layouts, picking the right software to use can make reaching your goals less of a challenge.

As of 2022, the five most recommended software platforms for graphic design projects are:

1. Adobe Illustrator– A graphic design and vector creation tool perfect for creating effective illustrative artwork, page layouts, logos, brochures, etc.

2. Adobe InDesign– a publishing software tool that is a must have for your business when designing effective magazine layouts, logos, info sheets, and more.

3. CorelDraw– A range of image editing features and graphic design applications with an easy-to-use interface that is professional.

4. Adobe Photoshop– this is a very popular image editing software that offers excellent graphic design capabilities that are user friendly.

5. Inkscape- A free graphic design software that is vital when creating scalable designs that won’t stretch or become blurry when resizing images.



Visual marketing styles are the future when it comes to success and profitability for businesses. Strategies involving graphic design elements are more effective because they produce a heightened level of professionalism, credibility, and audience engagement.

In this article, we provided a beginner’s guide for understanding what Graphic design is, how it is used in the real world, and the kinds of effective design software currently available. With this newfound understanding of graphic design and its importance towards the future of business marketing, the possibilities are endless. 


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Zachary (Jack) Street bio picture

Zachary (Jack) Street

I am originally from Denver, CO. I graduated from Montana State University Spring 2023 with a Bachelors Degree in English. In my free time I like to write, read, and enjoy the great outdoors anyway that I can.

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