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Graphic Design & Illustration, What’s the Difference?


Most people do not know the difference between graphic design and illustration.

They are in separate creative fields yet related to each other at certain points. Graphic design is categorized into commercial art, while illustration is mostly falls into the catalog of fine art.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a broader and more commonly known form of design and mainly about layout, composition, images, and texts.

Graphic design is all about experiences and ideas. A graphic designer projects ideas with textual and visual content, which is also known as communication design. 

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?


Graphic designer creating images that demand direct attention from the viewers. The designer makes the images only to bringing viewers’ attention to the drawn object. All design elements are for this sole purpose.

All elements in a graphic design compete with each other for attention. But a designer knows which elements should get focus first.

What Is Illustration?

An illustration is a visual interpretation of words and can be used in magazines, books, posters, animations, teaching materials, flyers, video games, and films.

An illustrator uses visual representation to express meaning of description in the form of drawing or picture. In the meanwhile, it also elaborates on a concept or process.

What Does An Illustrator Do?

An illustrator creates images without attention from the viewers to a specific object depicted on the canvas. The viewers basically would perceive the illustration as a whole instead of a specific object.

The illustrator needs to add a certain amount of unique character to the illustration only to make it seems a bit noticeable.

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

A graphic designer selects different design elements like typefaces, colors, symbols, and images to convey a message directly to the audience.

The Difference Between Graphic Design And Illustration

Graphic designs focus more on creating marketing and branding materials with end purpose of increasing sales and brand recognition. Illustrations, however, are used to communicate emotions or representation of trend.

Graphic designers use digital mediums to engage target audience with brand awareness. On the other hand, illustrators are involved in creating book cover illustrations, infographics etc.

When you want to get a logo, picture, you need a graphic design. If you are looking for sketches, you should go to an illustrator.


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