10 Types of Graphic Design in 2022

Graphic design is an important field that shapes the visual environment of our world. Learn about 10 types of graphic design and how to make it your career.

Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners?1 Visual design is constantly evolving to keep up with technology updates and changing consumer habits. Graphic design covers a whole span of visual creation, from the album cover of your favorite band to the icons on your social media apps. 

If you’re a visual creator and looking to turn your hobby into a full-time job, here are 10 types of graphic design to discover. Learn what technical skills you need and what you could soon create.

1. Brand Design

brand design style

Creating a brand goes beyond designing a logo. Brand designers create design elements that convey a message of brand values. In fact, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is one of the most important factors they consider when deciding on which brands they support.2 

Brand design usually involves a team of graphic designers and web designers who collaborate with brand managers to establish the overall look of the company. Brand design can include developing brand design guidelines, selected color palettes, icon groups, typography and more. 

Examples of brand design: 

  • Logo design
  • Icons
  • Brand guidelines

Skills needed:

  • Effective communication
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Market research

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Brand designer 
  • Logo designer 
  • Art director 

Logo designer average salary: $49,9673

Enhance your design with free icons

2. Product and Packaging Design

product and packaging design

Within a brand, select designers create the look of the product or service. The goal of effective packaging design is to make the product stand out from the rest of the competitive market while staying true to the central brand identity. 

You’ll see the product transform from its earliest stages of development to when it’s finally sitting on store shelves ready for purchase. Packaging designers must know what appeals to their target audience.  

Examples of design: 

  • Product packaging
  • Package prototypes 
  • Product illustrations 

Skills needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Prototyping  
  • Market research

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Package designer 
  • Branding designer 
  • Graphic designer

Package designer average salary: $72,0573

3. Marketing Design

 marketing design

Now that you’ve established your brand identity, what comes next? It’s most likely marketing the service or product to your ideal audience. Marketing design has become more digital, as global e-commerce has grown exponentially — increasing by 16.8% in 2021.4 

Marketing graphic designers work closely with promotional strategists to create visual assets that effectively communicate and promote their brand. If you plan to work in digital marketing design, you’ll find yourself working in-house or at an agency. You’ll likely specialize in certain areas, like social media marketing or corporate design. 

Examples of design: 

Skills needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite 
  • Market research 
  • Ability to collaborate 

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Marketing designer
  • Illustrators 
  • Art director

Marketing designer average salary: $56,2943

4. Print and Publication Design

print and publication design

Print and publication design is similar to marketing design, as both promote the brand’s services and products. However, this design type creates print-ready work, from full-page magazine advertisements to vinyl album covers. 

Publication designers understand the differences between print and web design, plus how to create a cover that catches someone’s eye in a bookstore. Similar to marketing design, there are freelancing jobs in this field, as well as in-house positions. 

Examples of design: 

  • Album covers
  • Magazine advertisements
  • Flyers

Skills needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Print layout design  
  • Print production knowledge

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Publications designer 
  • Production artist 
  • Layout artist

Publications designer average salary: $53,0003

5. Web Design

web page design

With each website you scroll through, there is a team of web designers who work to make it visually engaging. Web designers understand the importance of user experience and work with the user interaction team to create useful layouts for their websites. If you have a knack for visual design and computer programming, this field may be of interest to you. 

Examples of design: 

  • Landing pages
  • Website homepages
  • Search pages

Skills needed:

  • Basic coding
  • SEO 
  • UX design skills

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Web designer 
  • UI designer 
  • Interaction designer

Web designer average salary: $59,3533

6. UI Design

UI design

User interface (UI) designers work closely with web designers and developers to improve user interaction on applications or devices. While you’re not developing the codes for the application like UI developers, you’re paying attention to the layering of the human senses within the app itself, such as sight and sound. 

UI designers understand the balance of aesthetics and functionality. You must be able to problem-solve technical hiccups and understand what the consumer is looking for when they download the product.

Examples of design: 

  • Video games
  • Apps 
  • Dashboard design 

Skills needed:

  • Sketch or InVision
  • Basic design principles
  • Ability to work in a team

Job titles to look out for: 

  • UI designer 
  • Visual designer  
  • Product designer 

UI designer average salary: $82,2333

 7. Typeface Design

typeface retro design

Type design is a niche field of graphic design that encompasses all things typography and lettering. In this type of graphic design, you can create unique typefaces for both visual and print assets.

Typographers understand the balance of kerning and line height while following typography principles in their work. You’ll create beautiful font styles that align with the layout and design of a visual asset. 

Examples of design: 

  • Logos
  • Murals
  • Flyers

Skills needed:

  • FontLab or Fontsmith 
  • Typography principles
  • Adobe Creative Suite 

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Typographer 
  • Lettering designer
  • Type designer

Typographer average salary: $39,2923

8. Environmental Design

environmental graphic design

You know those retail stores that you wish you could just live in because of their aesthetics and visual appeal? That is what environmental design is all about. 

Environmental graphic design is aimed to connect people to curated spaces, whether it’s for navigational purposes, user interaction or to make a lasting impression. This type of graphic design is focused on physical communication, rather than just digital design. However, it can involve both in certain projects. 

Examples of design: 

  • Office design 
  • Murals
  • Stadium design 

Skills needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Understanding of spatial balance 
  • Effective communication

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Interior designer 
  • Architectural designer 
  • Project coordinator 

Interior designer average salary: $52,2383

9. Motion Design

motion design

Motion design is what it sounds like — design in motion. Motion or animation design can be mostly found throughout online marketing and website design. The growth of design software and applications has allowed motion design to become a popular tool to use in marketing and advertising. 

Motion designers can create anything from animated tutorials for product pages to animated logos on websites. If you enjoy dabbling in imagery animation and creating bold, new video content, there are an abundance of opportunities in this field. 

Examples of design: 

  • Video advertisements
  • Tutorial videos
  • Animated logos

Skills needed:

  • Adobe After Effects
  • Cinema 4D
  • Video editing
  • Creative thinking 

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Motion designer 
  • Motion graphics designer  
  • Animator 

Motion graphics designer average salary: $59,6283

10. Illustrative Design

illustrative graphic design

Another specialized field of graphic design you’ll find is illustration. Many companies now look to hire those who can create custom work for their brand, whether it’s used in blog post images, social media posts or apparel. 

Illustrative design is typically unique to both the designer’s style and the brand’s design guidelines. You may also create stock illustrations that can be used for free or commercially. 

If you’re interested in seeing more great examples of illustration work, check out our spotlight list of top designers and illustrators.

Examples of design: 

  • Apparel 
  • Book covers
  • Stock illustrations 

Skills needed:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Corel Painter
  • Unique design style

Job titles to look out for: 

  • Graphic illustrator
  • Graphic designer 
  • Freelance designer

Graphic illustrator average salary: $57,8843

In-house vs. Agency: What’s the Difference?

As you grow your resume as a graphic designer, you’ll likely need to choose between working for an advertising agency or an in-house marketing team. Several differences between the two may pull you in one direction over the other.


You first need to decide how immersed you want to be within a brand. In-house will allow you to be fully involved in a singular brand, as you’ll get to know the brand’s message and values deeply. You’ll become specialized in the brand’s design guidelines and illustration work. The downside, however, is that you’ll be restricted to one industry/brand.

Design agency: 

Within an agency, you’ll be able to work with a variety of industries and grow your adaptability skills. You may work on multiple clients at a time and then move on to new ones. However, you won’t necessarily have that same tight-knit feeling you get when working with a close design team in-house. 

Throughout your career, you may choose one route over another, or bounce back and forth between the two. Within both, you’ll be able to strengthen your design skills, as well as your communication and teamwork skills.

How To Work as a Freelancer

Besides working in-house or for a design agency, you may also find yourself working freelance jobs on the side. Here are some of the pros and cons of investing your free time into freelance gigs. 


  • A reliable side hustle: This can be a great opportunity to grow your design experience and get some extra cash on the side. 
  • Build a portfolio: Freelancing can allow you to build an extensive portfolio, which you can showcase on your personal design website. This is useful when you need examples of your work when applying for a new job or getting new freelance clients. 
  • Become self-employed: Some designers have built a large enough reputation to create a freelancing business for themselves. This can be a great career if you enjoy being your own boss and choosing which projects you want to work on. 


  • Extensive planning: You may experience some long nights wrapping up projects or having a heavy workload. It’s about knowing how much you can realistically take on while having a balanced work and life schedule. 
  • Finding clients: If you’re just starting out freelancing, you may find it difficult to find new clients. Start with creating a portfolio website and cold emailing small to mid-sized brands to see if they have an in-house design team or are interested in a one-off design project. 

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In every industry, there’s always a place for graphic design. As you develop your design portfolio, try practicing with different elements and types of graphic design. Remember to browse through our icon collection to spark your imagination.  


1Social Science Research Network




Noun Project Team
Noun Project Team

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