A lot of people think that graphic designing is a career with limited growth and opportunities to explore other fields. Is it that career where you just design and illustrate stuff? Yes, it’s that career, however, you’re not just limited to illustrations and website designs. While there are graphic designers that like the thrill of being generalists and get to work on different types of projects, there are others that focus on one type of graphic design.
If you are interested in being a graphic designer and wants to know about the different projects that a designer can work on, here are 8 types of graphic design career that you can pursue!
1. Brand Identity Design
Designing logos is one of the most common things that people often associate graphic designing with. However, a graphic designer is not just in-charge of the creation of the logo but also with the brand identity.
Aside from logo design, other primary responsibilities of brand identity designers are to conceptualize and create the visual presence and the brand style. This includes creating the color palette, deciding on types of images and typography that the company will use, and a whole lot of other visual elements.
Generally, a brand identity designer is also tasked to create guidelines that will serve as a basis for the work of other designers, like the web and marketing designers. They are typically focused on things like brand strategy, color palettes, logo design, icon systems, and brand guidelines.
According to Emily Johnson, a brand identity designer, “I focus on guiding clients on a journey to develop and share their brand’s story in a clear and authentic way. From big-picture thinking to tiny details, I aim to connect meaningful storytelling with compelling visuals to create unforgettable experiences.”
2. Marketing and Advertising
The key to a successful and effective promotional strategy is in the hands of the marketing and advertising designers.
The intent of marketing and advertising a product or service is to make consumers purchase or sign-up. This is why designers who work in this specialization must have deep knowledge of behavioral psychology. They need to understand the purchasing behavior of the consumers, what piques their interest the most, what are the power words that make a person buy, and how to catch the attention and interest of people.
Marketing and advertising designers focus on work such as print and digital advertisements, social media graphics, banners, marketing emails, brochures, posters, and pitch decks and presentations.
3. Packaging Design
When a company offers physical products, one of the key elements to prompt a purchase is through its packaging. From tags, labels, to boxes, everything needs to be designed by a knowledgeable package designer that understands the company’s branding, as well as the consumer behavioral psychology.
Packaging designers need to be skillful with color theory and typography. Aside from that, they must have a strong grasp of laws and regulations about the information that is required to appear on the packaging.
4. Web and User Interface Design
Another career that is commonly associated with being a graphic designer is being a web and user interface designer. This career focuses on the creation of designs for websites and apps.
Web and user interface designers need to have sufficient knowledge of design principles and user experience design. In this specific field, designers are not required to do actual coding, however, it is also important to at least know the basic coding principles and understanding their function, capabilities, and limitations. Knowing these makes designing easier and practical, as you won’t be spending time creating elements that in the end won’t be of much use because of coding constraints.
If you are planning on specializing in web and user interface design, projects that you are going to work on are most likely landing pages, marketing websites, app designs, game interfaces, and WordPress sites.
Viacheslay Olianishyn, the founder of @obys Creative Agency, says that “UI Design is a form of Graphic Design. It works within the principles of Graphic Design in terms of grid, composition techniques, color, typography, and so on. UI Design is not only the appearance of a product and its aesthetics, but it’s also a product’s character and emotion.”
5. Print and Publication Design
Before the digital world took over, graphic designers’ bread and butter rely on the opportunities that the print world offers. Despite everything seemingly available online nowadays, there are still a lot of chances to design for physical copies.
To be a print and publication designer, a person must know good design principles, like the color theory, images, and typography that best suits printed files, as well as having sufficient knowledge of the specifications that print-ready files might require.
Print and publication designers are usually involved in designing book covers, magazines and newspaper layouts, album covers, merchandise design, and brochures and flyers.
6. Lettering and Type Designers
A lot of people undermine the importance of typography, thinking that it is a minute detail that can be thrown around in the final stages of designing. But the truth is, typography is one of the most crucial elements and can either make or break your design.
To master the art of typography might take years of practice and experience, however, it’s not impossible to achieve. Typefaces and hand-lettered designs are all created by lettering and type designers.
One of the most important things that a lettering and type designer should know is the typographic principles. This includes typeface legibility and readability, kerning and line-height, size, and letter spacing and height.
Lettering and type designers can create design either manually or digitally and often get to work on projects like signs, flyers, mural, and wordmark logos.
7. Graphic Illustration
Being a graphic illustrator is probably the most common and the most popular career that you can pursue in the field of graphic design. A graphic illustrator is not only limited to a client-designer system, but a person’s skill in illustrating can also be used to establish their own business. Products like stickers are extremely popular nowadays.
Generally, graphic illustrators design for commercial and editorial purposes. Some designers prefer to illustrate digitally, but others like to hand draw them and transfer them over to finish digitally.
A graphic illustrator will work on projects such as digital products, blog posts, books, magazines, games, and merchandise.
Another way you can also make additional income as a graphic illustrator is by creating stock illustrations. It’s also a good method to build your reputation and add on to your portfolio.
8. Data Visualization and Infographic Designer
If you see those pictures online where large sets of data are being illustrated to be easily understood, then you are looking at the work of a data visualization and infographic designer.
Being a data and infographic designer will require an individual to have a firm understanding of how to present data accurately in a way that is digestible by normal citizens. Although it’s not required at all times, it is helpful if an aspiring graphic designer has a background or knowledge in handling and understanding data. That way, it is easier for them to transform them into understandable data.
James Round, a data visualization designer, said that “One of my favorite things about data viz design is being able to take something complex and communicate it in a clear, engaging, and beautiful way.”