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Digital Design vs Graphic Design: Which One Is Best in 2024?

Written By Zainab Aftab | Last Modified On April 22, 2024

Many people confuse the terms digital design and graphic design as being the same things. Knowing and differentiating between the functionality of both types of design methods is a challenge. One might think that both design methods are used for similar purposes then why there are two different terms?

Well if you’re curious to know the main differences between digital design vs graphic design and how they are related to UI/UX design, read this blog to find out.

What Is Digital Design?

A digital design refers to any design that is displayed on a digital device such as a mobile phone, computer, etc. Nowadays, a document can easily be displayed on a computer by scanning it however digital designs are made specifically for digital devices.

They are designed not to be read but to be used. When creating digital designs, various things such as user experience, color, shape, etc are kept in mind. Digital designs include animations, videos, 2D/3D modeling, etc.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design can be defined as visual communication that is combined with various things such as ideas, images, alphabets, etc to create a project. Graphic designs are used to share ideas and design through graphics.

Graphic designers are professionals who take ideas from people and then express them in images on computers, mobiles, etc. All the images you see on giant billboards or magazines etc are made by graphic designers.

Key Difference: Digital design vs Graphic design

The biggest difference between graphic designing and digital designing is that digital designs could be animated or be a 3D model whereas graphic designs are only in still images for example a logo or a pamphlet. They are not interactive and their purpose is to make a web design visually pleasing whereas digital design is used for more user interaction.

Digital designs could also use audio and sound effects for better communication of visuals. Even though graphic design has been around longer than digital, it was mostly used for print media, book covers, magazines, brochures, etc. On the other hand, digital design has always been made to be used for digital devices.

Also Read about the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

Top 7 Types of Digital Design

Let’s look at some widely popular types of digital design. There are various types of digital designs but these 7 are the most used:

  • Web design
  • App design
  • Icon design
  • Email design
  • Social media pages design
  • Animation design
  • Infographic design

1) Web Design

The number of websites on the internet is increasing day by day. Each website has a layout and a design. A web design is the design of a website that is displayed once it’s opened. A web designer creates the layout, and appearance and plays other factors in the development of a website. A web design can be created by hiring freelance graphic designers who can make your website graphics attractive to your audience.

Read this blog on 14 Tips For Choosing A Web Design Company.

2) App Design

One of the most popular and most used design types these days is app design. Apps are designed for various purposes such as gaming, recording, shopping, dating, etc. App designers design apps to perform functions specified by business owners or companies to promote their products on their apps. Although apps are mostly for mobile phones they can be for desktops as well.

3) Icon Design

Another type of digital design is Icon design. Whenever we want to open an application on our PC/mobile/tablet we click on the app button also referred to as the icon. An icon has high importance as it is also used for the advertisement of the app. Therefore they should be designed well.

4) Email Design

Email designing means strategically creating an email that is attractive to the eyes so that the reader of the email reads it from top to bottom without skipping any of its contents. This strategy is mostly used by businesses when they advertise through email marketing.

5) Social Media Pages Design

All social media pages are a result of digital design as they include visuals, images, videos, layouts, etc. Even though photography is a popular social media genre, digital designers frequently reuse branding, such as logos, to generate unique social media photos for business purposes. It is very important for social media influence, to have a visually pleasing design that could attract a large number of people. Take Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter for example. All these apps and their websites have unique page design that keeps their users hooked to their platforms.

6) Animation Design

A realistic, three-dimensional computer picture is called an animation design. Brands utilize animations to render products or produce models of planned construction projects, while they can also be used for amusement. Animations are becoming increasingly popular and liked by a majority of people. Professional and highly skilled digital designers are hired to create animations for movies, films, youtube videos, etc.

7) Infographic Design

Infographic as the name suggests means information in graphical form. It is the display of information or facts visually. You might’ve seen charts displaying information in your schools. These charts are infographic charts created with a specific layout and design. This design is called infographic design.

5 Main Types of Graphic Design

Now let us have a look at 5 main types of graphic designs.

  • UI design
  • UX design
  • Motion Graphics design
  • Game design
  • Typographic design

UI Design

The point of contact between a human and a computer is called the user interface (UI). Additionally, it refers to how a user engages with a website or app. Nowadays, everybody is acquainted with this term as it is increasingly in demand. The reason is that UI design is proven to improve customer engagement with websites, apps, or any form of digital content. UI design is also divided into further sub-categories:

  • Graphical User Interface
  • Menu-Driven User Interface
  • Interactive User Interface
  • Command Line User Interface
  • Voice User Interface

UX Design

The process of designing a product to provide a good experience to a user is called UX (User experience) design. If a designer designs a product in a way that provides a good and meaningful experience to a user then the UX of your platform is good. For this purpose, graphic designers use several tools to test, measure and quantify UX.

Read more about 18 Tools to Measure, Quantify and Optimize the UX

Motion Graphics Design

Another type of design that falls under the category of graphic design is motion graphics design. Motion graphics are like animations that emphasize the viewability of text to the viewers of ads. It’s essentially animated graphic design. Brands use animated videos combined with text for advertising purposes.

Game Design

The process of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment, educational, or other purposes is called game designing. A game designer creates the layout, and design and plays other factors such as testing of the platform, etc. This type of design includes very tough and complex techniques to provide a high-resolution display to customers.

Typographic Design

What exactly is typography design? In a nutshell, typography design is the art of arranging a message in a pleasing and readable composition. It is an essential component of design. Typographic designs have various advantages such as being user-friendly and attracting people.

Deliverables for graphic design

Graphic design has deliverables that allow the designer to focus on the core elements of design strategy. These roadmaps act like a plan for creating the right kind of content demanded by the customer. Let’s look at the deliverables for graphic design.

  1. Sitemap
  2. Wireframe
  3. Content map
  4. Mood board
  5. Style tile
  6. Prototype
  7. Mock-up

Which One of These Skills Is Easier to Learn?

Working as a digital designer is not as hard as it sounds, although to become a digital designer you might have to learn multiple skills such as Mobile First Designing (MFD), wireframing, software testing, usability testing, 3D animating, etc. Learning these skills could be a little challenging. Not to mention, having a creative mind and an open perspective on things is also necessary for becoming a digital designer. More people are interested in becoming digital designers so the competition could be a bit tough.

Becoming a graphic designer is not as challenging as becoming a digital designer as graphic designers mostly have the objective of creating visual content that displays a message to a user. As a graphic designer, it is necessary to have good communication with your clients. It is very important to fully understand what the customer is trying to convey. Graphic designing is more about understanding the client’s needs. You will need to learn the necessary tools and practice design consistency to be successful as a graphic designer.

Which One Has More Demand in the Current Market?

Both of the design methods are highly in demand these days because of increasing digital advertising techniques for products that require designs for logos, banners, apps, websites, Tv ads, etc, and also for designing the user interface. Interaction designs are becoming a highly-paid career in first-world countries. Both careers are predicted to grow in employment in the upcoming decade, however, the demand for digital design could be highly uprising due to the increase in the number of mobile devices interacting with apps and websites. Nevertheless, both fields require similar skill sets and proficiency in designing tools like Adobe Illustrator, Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, etc.

Benefits of Becoming a Digital Designer

Now that we know the difference between both terms, let’s see what benefits you can get by choosing any one of them as a profession. Here is a list of benefits you can gain by becoming a digital designer:

  • You can get a well-paid job as a digital designer.
  • The scope of this career is very high.
  • Digital designers are very high in demand in top countries of the world.
  • Brands offer you many perks apart from the basic pay for putting effort into their marketing design campaigns.
  • You can work as a freelancer at a standard wage rate.
  • You can easily learn this skill by taking some courses.
  • You can work in various niches.

Benefits of Becoming a Graphic Designer

Let’s see what are the perks of becoming a graphic designer:

  • You can work in a huge variety of industries.
  • You can exposure to multiple environments.
  • You can work remotely.
  • You have a variety of fields inside graphic designing to choose from.
  • It’s not a boring job since you have to add your creativity to your designs.
  • Graphic design also gives you a chance for self-expression like any other art.
  • It’s not a lonesome job as you can always collaborate with other designers.
  • Graphic design doesn’t have to be your major degree instead you can learn it as a side skill.

Salaries of Graphic Designers and Digital Designers

Well, the salary for a typical graphic designer or digital designer also depends on the type of project they are doing. For example, if a graphic designer is making a UX/UI design then the salary is $96,000 per month. However, the average salary of a graphic designer in the US is nearly $52,000 or $20.11 per hour.

On the other hand, digital design jobs pay more with an average salary of $77,000 or $35 per hour. If you are doing freelancing projects in other countries then the salary could be less than this average wage rate. Nevertheless, both types of design jobs are well paid and designers do enjoy working on projects.

Conclusion

Graphic design vs digital design both are popular design terms and are high in demand these days. Both of these design methods shape our everyday experience with apps, websites, advertisements, etc.

The main difference between the two is that graphic designers are static and traditionally found in print form whereas digital designs are made for software-human interaction. These skills are interchangeable and both types of design can be used in each other to create a blend to reveal innovative and creative products. You can choose a career in any of these fields and with professional skills, you can earn a well-paid fun design job.

FAQs

What Is 3D Design?

3D Design uses computer software to create objects that are three-dimensional and are a prototype of an actual object. Designers use 3D modeling to provide an in-depth visual representation of an object, which a 3D design cannot display.

Difference Between Design and Development.

Development of a product refers to the whole lifecycle of its creation from scratch to final launch whereas design is only a phase of product development where its visual features are designed.

Is Digital Drawing Related to Graphic Design?

Digital art or digital design is a form of art where digital tools are used to create images and videos. Whereas graphic design is a bigger approach that involves artwork, image design, video graphics, typography, web design, and other forms of design combined to communicate through them.