Simply put, graphic design is the art of deciding how things should look. This art form uses visual compositions to solve problems and communicate ideas through typography (use of text & fonts), imagery, color, and form. There are different ways to do this, which results in several types of graphic design, each with their own area of specialization.

Some of the career opportunities lie in these areas:

Marketing and Advertising Graphic Design

Marketing designers work with a company’s marketing professionals to create assets for marketing strategies. They might work in a freelance capacity or as part of an in-house marketing team. Designers can specialize in a specific type of media (vehicle wraps or magazine ads, for example) or create a broad assortment of material in print and/or digital formats.

User Interface Graphic Design

A user interface (UI) is how a user interacts with a device or application. UI design is the process of designing interfaces to make them easy to use and provide a user-friendly experience. Interactive elements such as drop-down menus, form fields, clickable elements, animations, button styling and more are all critical tools for UI designers around the world.

UI design focuses on the design of the actual interface elements that the user interacts with to accomplish a goal within an application. One of the essential digital design tools for UI designers is Sketch.

Publication Graphic Design

Graphic designers who specialize in publications create layouts with carefully selected typography and accompanying artwork, which includes photography, graphics, and illustrations. Publication designers can work in a variety of settings, including graphic design agencies, book publishing companies, magazine publishers, newspapers, and Web design companies. Much of a publication designer’s work is digital, making it possible for freelance designers to work from home or another remote location.

Multimedia Artist

This job requires a bachelor’s degree in computer animation, digital arts, graphic design, or a related field. Multimedia artists use multiple technologies and artistic methods to create special effects, characters, or scenes in film, advertisements, website design, animation, or video games. Job opportunities exist in a variety of artistic functions including promotional materials, films, web pages, illustrations, and multimedia presentations.

When applying for jobs, multimedia artists should present employers with portfolios that represent their best work. Portfolios can influence employers to hire you as a multimedia artist.

graphic design smart

Packaging Graphic Design

The importance of package design is evident everywhere. All you have to do is browse through food aisles at any supermarket. For example, why do cereal boxes look so colorful? They are the artistic creation of a packaging graphic designer. However, the job can take on more roles than strictly the design of packaging materials. One job posting states that the graphic designer will assume a primary role in the conceptualization, design, and production of corporate collateral including catalogs, videos, event materials, presentations, advertising and promotional campaigns for print, display, and digital distribution.

Motion Graphic Design

Motion Graphic Artists bring still graphics to life with visual effects, animation, and cinematic techniques to make products interesting and engaging. By animating graphics and creating vivid visual effects, motion graphics designers bring a film, websites, or commercials to an entirely new level.

One of the crucial steps to pursue a career in motion graphics design is to become familiar with the basics of both animation and graphic design. The software most frequently used in motion graphics design is After Effects, Cinema 4D, Final Cut Pro, Flash, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro. It is also important to have a solid understanding of design and animation basics.

Environmental Graphic Design

Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) embraces many design disciplines including graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design, all concerned with the visual aspects of communicating information and shaping the idea of creating experiences that connect people to place. It encompasses various forms of communication in the constructed environment. These include content, moving digital text and images, display content such as museum exhibits, branded content such as football stadiums and corporate headquarters.

When you walk into an airport or a hospital, you look for signs indicating the gate locations or different departments in a large hospital. These are examples of environmental graphics.

Art and Illustration for Graphic Design

Many consider graphic art and illustration the same as graphic design, however, there are differences. Designers create compositions to communicate and solve problems, graphic artists and illustrators create original artwork. Their art takes a number of forms, from fine art to decoration to storytelling illustrations.

Generally, an illustration is for its integration of published media such as magazines, books, posters, animations, teaching materials, flyers, video games, and films. Other examples of illustration for graphic design are album art, t-shirts, picture books, technical illustrations, graphic patterns for textiles, and graphic novels.

graphic 2 smart


Additional Resources

What is a Degree in Graphic Design?

What are my Bachelor’s Degree Choices in Graphic Design?

What are my Associate’s Degree Choices in Graphic Design?

What is the Difference between a Degree in Graphic Design and Web Design?

What are my Choices for a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design?