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Graphic Design vs. Digital Design: What's the difference

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Graphic Design vs Digital Design: What’s the Difference?

Graphic Design vs Digital Design

It’s no secret that good design is an essential aspect of a company's success. In fact, over a 10-year period, design-driven companies outperformed the S&P by 228%.

The difference between graphic design and digital design can be unclear for those of us who aren't designers by trade. Let’s first define each of these processes, then explore the differences and similarities between the two, so you can confidently understand their importance in lead acquisition, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty. 

What Is Graphic Design?

According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), graphic design is “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” 

Graphic design can also be referred to as visual communication. A graphic designer’s job is to create visual content that effectively communicates ideas and messages. 

Excellent graphic design uses visual design elements such as color, texture, lines, shapes, size, and white space to quickly and convincingly convey a message to viewers. 

These are 5 common graphic design examples: 

  1. Brand design (such as logos, brand colors, and brand fonts)
  2. Web design (such as icons and static images) 
  3. Packaging design (such as food, cosmetic, and electronics packaging)
  4. Editorial design (such as books, newspapers, and magazines)
  5. Marketing design (such as ads, emails, and billboards)

Types of Graphic Design

Numerous problems can occur if your company doesn’t create excellent designs from the start. So, many companies partner with Creatives On Call, as our graphic designers with years of demonstrable experience can help create stunning brands, attract new customers, and increase repeat customers, all while saving you time and money.

What is visual identity graphic design?

Visual identity graphic design consists of the logo, colors, fonts, and images that create your unique brand identity. It’s extremely important to create a strong aesthetic to establish brand recognition within your target audience. A stunning logo design is extremely important to business success because it can create immediate brand recognition. This helps separate you from competitors, increases brand loyalty, and creates positive reactions in your target audience. 

What is marketing and advertising design? 

Marketing and advertising design includes persuasive visuals with the goal of promoting a product or service. This type of graphic design uses attention-grabbing digital and print ads, webpages, and email marketing to get ideal clients to take action. The goal of marketing and advertising design is to create engagement that ultimately converts to your desired outcome such as a customer buying a product or signing up for a webinar. Compelling design is a powerful tool to make your company stand out from competitors. 

What is publication design? 

Publication design takes place in printed materials such as books, brochures, newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. It uses fundamental design principles to make eye-catching visual elements that provide value to your target audience while increasing brand awareness with the ultimate goal of increasing sales and customer loyalty. 

What is packaging graphic design?

Many products are sold in some type of unique packaging. A packaging graphic designer creates an incredible consumer experience by choosing material, fonts, colors, and textures for packaging to tell a story and evoke emotion. Packaging graphic design is important as it’s the consumer’s first point of contact with your product and can make a lasting impression of your brand. 

What Is Digital Design?

As with graphic design, digital design is important to get right from the beginning so you don’t waste your company’s valuable time, money, and resources. Creatives On Call understands creation of digital designs to excite your customers to work with you and view you as a respected, trusted brand.

Digital graphic design is any type of graphic design displayed on digital devices and platforms such as mobile apps or webpages versus print. Digital designers and digital artists use interactive animations, video clips, audio recordings, sound effects, and 2D or 3D modeling to convey messages to their target audience. 

Compared to printed design artists, digital designers are more easily able to measure their digital art’s success by tracking likes, shares, comments, click-through rates, page views, and downloads. 

Excellent digital designers research the exact problem they’re trying to solve for their desired audience and create interactive, innovative designs with the goal of moving viewers emotionally, providing value to them, or inspiring them to take action. 

These are 5 common digital design examples:

  1. Phone apps
  2. Social media channels
  3. Webpages
  4. Banner ads
  5. Infographics 

Types of Digital Design

What is web design? 

Web design is the process of creating and arranging the appearance and layout of a website. Web designers create websites that are either responsive where content and images move on the screen, or adaptive where the content and images are fixed on the screen. 

Why is good web design important? 

Well, 75% of consumers base their opinion of an ecommerce website on design alone! Website design also helps you to rank on search engines, increases credibility and likability, and makes your brand stand out against competition. Excellent web design is user-friendly, simple, aesthetically pleasing, interactive, and consistent in colors and typography. 

What is landing page design? 

A landing page is a standalone webpage with a specific goal or call to action, such as signing up for a newsletter, registering for an event, or purchasing a product. Digital designers use digital tools to design the landing page in a visually appealing way so the lead will take the desired action. Excellent landing page design can convert your leads into subscribers and eventually into customers. 

What is app design? 

An app design comprises the look, feel, and ease of use of a mobile application. Two major components of app design are user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). UI design focuses on the look of the app including images, typography, and colors. UX design focuses on the usability and functionality of the app. Good UI design can increase conversion rates by 200% and good UX design can increase them up to 400%! UX designers and UI designers work together to ensure that apps are visually appealing, easy to navigate, and dynamic. These apps use high quality videos and images, and they are fast, secure, and responsive. 

What is 3D design?

3D design is created by using computer modeling software to build an object that has a specific size, shape, and texture. It uses the x-axis (horizontal), y-axis (vertical), and z-axis (depth) to determine where the object is located within a specific space. 3D design can be used with voice UI design to add interesting and visually appealing elements to enhance the UX. An example of this is Siri on the iPhone. 3D designs also show users how a product will look in real life and can increase your followers’ interest in what you’re selling. 

What is interface design?

Digital designers use UI design to create a specific look and feel for an app or website. This is important since a UI is the point of contact between a person and an electronic device. 

Examples of interface design are:

  1. Navigational components: These provide a way for the user to operate a website or app, for example, a search box or button. 
  2. Informational components: These are a way to share notifications with the user, for example, a progress bar or message box. 
  3. Containers: These vertically stack items so they’re all in the same place and expand when clicked upon. 

Stellar interface design is critical to business success because it can attract new customers, increase customer retention, and increase customer satisfaction!  

If you’re ever on a website and have no idea how to navigate it, or are confused as to what you’re supposed to do or what service that business is offering, it’s likely that website has a weak digital interface. Excellent digital interfaces all have several common components—they’re user-friendly, intentional with the layout, cohesive in messaging and aesthetics, and they use different sizes and styles of font to create transparency and hierarchy. 

Similarities and Differences Between Graphic Design and Digital Design

As you can see, there are many similarities between graphic design and digital design.


  • They both use visual communication to create brand awareness and evoke emotion in their target audience.
  • They both relay information via imagery and symbols. 


  • Digital design involves movement, audio, and sound effects to convey a message, while graphic design uses only static images.
  • Digital designers create digital art that will be showcased on a computer, tablet, TV, or phone screen, while a graphic designer’s finished product is used for both digital and printed materials. 
  • Digital design is created to be interactive and it strongly focuses on the digital user’s experience, while graphic design focuses more on the color and typography of a still image.
  • It’s much easier to track how well a digital design is performing versus a printed design because digital design can be measured by tracking likes, shares, comments, click-through rates, page views, and downloads.


Both graphic designers and digital designers use their creativity to share information via images and symbols with the ultimate goal of providing value and turning followers into happy customers. 

At Creatives On Call, we believe good design will exponentially improve the quality of your business and how potential customers perceive it. That’s why so many companies choose to partner with us to create beautiful and effective experiences that make your brand shine with consistency and value while accelerating your company’s growth!  

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