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Graphic Design vs. UX Design: Career Change

graphic design to ux design

Earlier in my childhood, I used to be fascinated by the different posters, illustrations, advertisements, magazine covers. All those colours, text, shapes and images were so skillfully used and presented that it was visually appealing as well as engaging. Back then, I did not know what that little motivation that drove me towards collecting these kinds of design works. Later, during my teenage years, I found out that this is the massive umbrella of so-called graphic designing.

So What is Graphic Design?

It is a profession in which an individual uses graphical and textual elements to create visual components to communicate with the masses. It is a subset of communication design that makes use of industry-standard design tools by using design thinking methods. It is to inspire, inform and then transform project ideas to convey information to an audience, especially creating and add on effect. 

Some graphic design examples that come to mind are vector graphics, raster graphics, video games, logos, magazines, billboards and so on.

Types of Graphic Design

Communicating ideas and solving the problem with the help of visual elements can be done using different ways. Each type requires a specific skill set of graphic designing.

The industry is continuously changing, and in this process, it is challenging for designers to cope up with this frequent changing times.

Let us understand what the different types of graphic design are and what is its importance along with graphic design examples.

There are 8 types of graphic design as mentioned below.

Graphic Design in Marketing and Advertising – When it comes to doing business, marketing is the most imperative thing, and the CEO will not let it go so casually and carelessly. Companies hire graphic designers so that they can help communicate the brand values in the public domain and market their products and services to reach the masses. It is achieved by understanding the needs of the target audience and then tapping into these needs and wants through advertisements – awareness of the company and its product. It is human psychology and a pervasive one that we find visual content more understandable as well as more engaging. Graphic designing is just helping in this field to communicate those aspects of the company more effective efficiently. Graphic designers work with stakeholders of the product the company is offering, understanding their objectives, mission, bits and pieces of their needs and pain points and then creating a marketing strategy. For example, if the company has something new that they need to market, this case various types of collateral designs that promote the product. Earlier mostly print centred designs were used but now as the digital movement is coming into practice, more digital assets are being used market content as well as advertised digitally. Designers in this field should have excellent communication skill, problem-solving skills and time management skills. It is always good to learn the process from the entry-level position so that after a few years, by gaining experience, excel in this field. Examples of marketing and advertising graphic design are brochure, flyer, social media ad, banners, powerPoint presentation, email marketing templates.

Visual identity graphic design – graphic design helps create a brand identity for a company which in turn helps them communicate its personality, characteristics and the memories or any other experiences. In simple terms, using the visual elements to create a visual identity that may act as a front face of a brand, grouping all the constituent abstract qualities into a visual comprising images colours shapes forms. Designers create logos with different kinds of typography and colour palettes that represent a brand’s personality essence. The designer creates a set of visual brand guidelines, to use in multiple media. This brand guideline can be used later in the future application so that the consistency is maintained. Visual identity design is the most common type of design.

User interface graphic design – User interface design is the process of creating a visual layout for the interfaces through which the user interacts with the device application. From designing the screen layout to keyboard and mouse and any other different product, the top layer which the user interacts with comes user interface graphic design. Thus UI design focuses on the designs that are there on the screen as buttons, menus and so on. In most of the cases, UI designers work with us designers as well as UI developers. Examples of user interface graphic design are app design, web page design, web theme design and game interface design.

Publication graphic design – Its output works traditionally in the form of the print media. It is a classic design type which encompasses book newspapers, magazines, menus and catalogues. Earlier, most of the works were in the form of physical print but, again, after recent development of the digital technology we are fortunate to see digital publishing in large numbers. The designers who are expert in this type work with the editors and publishers so that they can create a layout with the particular selected type and different elements of design. Examples of publication graphic design include book newspaper newsletters annual reports magazines catalogues menu, and so on.

Packaging graphic design – any type of product requires packaging the packaging communicates the different brand values as well as Letting the brand identity to come in terms with parrot population. Pros of this kind of design are that it directly communicates the ideal and the features of the company e in a short time. Every packaging bit a box a bagged bottle can contain anything that packages a product can tell the story of a particular brand. In packaging graphic design, the designer creates concepts and develops the prototype, creating print-ready files for the product. In this field expertise in the print, the process is pivotal. This kind of design can sometimes be very taxing as different kinds of concepts may be required, and that is only possible if the designer has a lot of past experiences in this domain.

Illustration graphic designer – these are some sometimes also known as artwork graphics designer push the particular field of interest is communication through art with the motive of decoration as well as a storytelling format. Illustration graphic design is technically not a type of graphic design, but, the work that these types of designers do. You are used in multiple ways within a different context at search makes it a particular part of graphic design.Examples of this type of graphic design can be T-shirt design, video games stock images, comic book covers, infographics concept art.

Motion graphic design – a domain in which oceans in terms of effects are used for online digital media such as apps websites, television and films. In today’s world, motion graphic design has its importance, and many of the corporate sectors are demanding this type of design as one of the elements for ways to communicate with their audience does it is the king now. It is somewhat a new field of design, but, over time, it is getting the grip over the domain of graphic designing does create unique and beautiful opportunities for graphic designers. Examples, for instance, are animated logos, motion, graphical presentations, promotional videos, advertisements, video game app and banners.

Environment graphic design – It may be called space graphic design, because it connects people to places visually, creating an overall experience by making that place memorable, intriguing, informative and navigable. Environment graphic design consists of interior designing, landscape designing, industrial designing, architectural designing as well as graphic designing. The designer must have a set of knowledge of the particular concepts of these types of domain so that there is no confusion as such, the design output is accessible and functional. Examples, for instance, are a retail store, interiors office, branding museum exhibition, signages and stadium branding.

Tools used in graphic design

There are numerous kinds of design tools that may be used for graphic designing. Some of them which are used extensively are mentioned below:

  • The most essential tool that can be used to do graphic designing is the traditional SketchBook, a pencil mark and obviously colours. Designers work to sketch out ideas, a lot of ideas, iterate and then discuss with the team so that the final decision on the design can be taken. They need to draught every possible idea coming to their mind on a paper before going to the digital format.
  • Having said that once you are ready with the concept, the graphic designer may further iterate in terms of colours used, size as well as fonts on the computer and design software. We talk about designing digitally then Adobe Suite can be taken into consideration. Adobe products such as XD, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Rush and Premiere Pro can be and is being used in large numbers while designing a product in the digital format. Other industry standard software such as Figma and Invision can be learnt. As a UX designer, learn a few design tools that will help you to tackle each process of the UX methodology.
  • There are also free softwares available such as GIMP, Inkscape and Krita that can also help you to begin from the very basics and to reach to the highest level of graphic designing. One thing that a graphic designer needs to remember is that the world around him revolves entirely on getting inspiration from the nearby objects and then using the inspirations to make it into a visual sense so that the concept that is developed with the inspiration comes into life. As such, we should not be worried about this process ; instead enjoy it.

Types of Graphic Design Style

3D

3d graphic design style

Characterizes by the illusion of volume and mass, making it look like it occupies space. The 3D design is used to create something that resembles a real-life object.

Abstract

abstract graphic design style

An abstract design style is a composition of colours and shapes formed on the individual interpretation of both – the designer and the client.

Clean and minimalist

Clean and minimalist graphic design style

Characterized by simplicity and spareness. It leaves its most basic form for the message to communicate.

Conceptual artIt is a symbolic depiction of a visual idea. It might not necessarily feature similarity to the real object it models after.

Feminine

Feminine graphic design style

The opposite of masculine design, it is characterized by details that attract female attention like soft colour palettes and florals.

Flat

Flat graphic design style

It employs minimal use of colours and shading to present a visually-pleasing aesthetic.

Fun and playful

fun and plying graphic design style

Frequently used to create cartoons, it can be the non-realistic or semi-realistic artistic style of drawing. It is a design style that inspires fun gives off an informal impression.

Geometric

geometric graphic style

This style is derived from geometry and characterized by heavy use of shapes and straight lines.

Grunge

Grunge in graphic design style

Typically characterized by distressed appearance to its designs, grunge commonly associated with punk and gothic styles as it evokes the darker, gritty and style of the 1990s.

Illustrated

illustrated graphic design style

The illustration style, is derived from the visual interpretation of a text, concept or process.

Luxurious

Luxurious graphic design style

It evokes the idea of extra comforts additional to the necessary standard of well-being. Rich colours like gold help achieve this concept of luxury.

Masculine

Masculine graphic design style

The masculine design style is appealing to men. Details may include monochromatic theme, simple lines and rugged texture.

Organic and natural

Organic and natural in graphic design style

Organic design, is characterized by continuous lines and dynamic curves. By adding weathered effects, it can also feel rustic.

Photorealism

Photorealism graphic design style

Photorealism is a form of illustration that closely depicts the original image as much as possible.

Professional/corporate

Professionalcorporate graphic design style

Characterized by muted colours, and minimal details to represent traditional ideas, typically used to make formal impressions on the audience.

Typographic

Typographic graphic design style

It utilizes the modification of fonts – a design of the written words to evoke a response in the audience.

Vintage / retro

Vintage  retro graphic design style

Vintage or retro is an imitation of trends from the recent past, such as – 

  • Steampunk (a tribute to the industrial revolution of the late 1800s) 
  • Bauhaus (the minimalist style movement between the 1920s and the 1930s).

User Experience Design

Now we have an understanding of graphic designing. and it is time to understand what does User Experience (UX) design and its application.

So, let us begin.

What is UX design?

UX design is a process with the help of which the user’s experience is enhanced after sufficient understanding of the needs and pain-points which the user might be having while using a product. This process entails the use of in-depth research, analysis and getting insights from the researched data.

In simple terms, it is an end-to-end interaction between the product and the user.

Many factors affect the overall experience that the user has with the product. Some of them are mentioned below –

UsefulnessUsability
LearnabilityEmotions
Aesthetics

In this broad field of UX design, to achieve the very understanding of the user group, there is a process that is followed.

Firstly, we examine the user’s needs within a particular context, observe the same, analyze it with a series of contextual methods which is also known as User-Centred Design (UCD) methodology.

The first step towards UX design is the research phase. It is the phase of understanding the problem while considering user context. It is followed by conducting research. After doing this, the process of interpreting the insight starts. In this phase, we try to get a sense of what we had found. Then comes the concept stage wherein the design process such as sketching, prototyping and iterating the design ideas involve so that we can validate our approach taken during the earlier processes. Finally, we enter the testing phase, where the final design of the product is tested within the users’ context. At this stage usability testing and monitoring of the product is done in real-time. This process keeps on going over time and every pain points that the user segment faces are either removed or decreased to an extent so that good user experience is achieved while using the product.

There are many fields of design that are incorporated while completing the process of UX design. Some of them are mentioned below –

Interaction designPsychology
Graphic designCognitive science
Industrial designAnthropology
Human factors engineering

So you must be noticing that graphic design comes under the broad field UX design. It is true. Graphic design is a part of user experience design. While learning about the different types of graphic design, we learnt about user interface graphic design. The user interface designing is again a part of user experience design which are used while we are coming up with the output research work.

UX Designer vs Graphic designer

The role of graphic designer and UX designer is very much overlapping that UX designer vs graphic designer. But there are some minor changes that you must know. The first and foremost difference is that Graphic design is more about pixel perfection. There is certain type craftsmanship required for graphic designing. On the other hand, in UX design, the designer learns different types of skill. Many kinds of the school of thoughts come into play for UX designing.

What Is The Difference Between A UX Design And Graphic Design

It is often said that Graphic design is similar to UX design and vice-versa. However, more than similar, graphic designing is part of a much larger profession UX design. At the same time, graphic design has a few differences. They are as follows :

  • Graphic designing focuses on pixel related. It focuses on the perfect colour schemes and the font of the design. UX design is inclined towards the user’s experiences. It requires extensive research into consumer behaviour and their likes and dislikes.
  • UX design is more about problem-solving. It involves identifying a problem and researching for probable solutions. Graphic designing on the other hand is about being able to represent the solution in a concise manner.
  • Graphic Designing is a specialized course. It requires specific skill sets. UX design, on the other hand, is a multi-disciplinary course.

How to change your career from Graphic Design to UX Design?

It might be going through your mind right now whether to pursue graphic design or user experience design as a career? Well, both are promising careers in due course of life. The only difference is that graphic designing as a career has its limitations. Even today the industries require UX designers so that while they are marketing your products, we come to know about the factors which are stopping them from gaining an advantage in their field and then coming out with solutions for it. It can reach many more people and in turn, help to get happy customers that may come back over and over again. Now, this is a continuous process that keeps on repeating, and this is the reason why shifting of career user experience design as a career option, the bright one.

The billion-dollar question: How to change the career from graphic design to User experience design?

Let us talk about it in detail. But please wait for a moment, let us first us what are the similarities and differences between a graphic designer and User experience designer.

Similarities

Both careers deal with emotions – In graphic designing, emotional communication with the help of shapes, form, colours and typography is used. UX design is about understanding the user in the definite context focusing on the complete journey the user has while interacting with the product.
Both fields deal with creative thinking processes – In graphic designing, a lot of iterating an idea generation is done following a particular convention as the brand guidelines. In UX design, the product is designed to solve user’s problems, so creative thinking, lateral thinking and design thinking are used.
Both graphic design and user experience design uses mockups and prototypes as one of the ways to gather feedback from the users and the different stakeholders.

Differences

Graphic DesignUX Design
Graphic designing takes consideration of the various elements of design, such as colours, shapes, forms and typography very critically. Focus is more on whether or not the brand guidelines are followed.Rather than focusing on the visual and the creative aspect of the design output, more focus is given to the understanding of the user. It is after which the interface which comes into direct contact with the user is then designed for even in that case redesign.
Graphic design is a specialized fieldwork where the understanding of colours and typography is fundamental. It has a set of rules, and a set of conventions are followedMultiple different fields, are combined, and thus a Holistic design thinking process is applied  

Conclusion

Now, after going through the similarities and differences, you might have got a perspective on what it takes to become a UX designer from a graphic designer. Let us go through the below-mentioned pointers:

  • There is an overlap in terms of the skills for both graphic design and UX design. Being a graphic designer, these are your strengths while you are thinking of a change in career to UX design.
  • As a graphic designer, you might be aware of some of the tools well. But changing your career to UX design allows you need to learn a few other industry-standard tools that are generally used. Adobe XD, InVision, Sketch, and Figma should be tested when you are coming up with a mockup or a prototype.
  • In the difference between graphic design and UX design, you might have seen that a UX designer has to have an understanding of the user who might be using the product. Understanding the user needs an essential skill called empathy. Inculcating empathy as a skill will help you understand the form that graphic designing might not.
  • Another essential skill that you should have when you ever think of becoming a UX designer is a skill of observing things around you. To ask several questions before you come to a hypothesis and then use the scientific method to come down to a conclusion about whether or not to prove or disprove the hypothesis. It is the time taking activity, but it is worth it.
  • Last but not least, to enrol yourself in a UX certification program, you will learn every step that is followed during the process of UX design in intricate detail with a lot of practicality. There are a lot of institutions that give you the chance to pursue UX design as a subject. It will help you to build a solid foundation of UX design as a subject and therefore enable you to shine in this field.

References:

  1. https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/design/blog/where-do-graphic-designers-work/
  2. https://99designs.com/blog/tips/types-of-graphic-design/
  3. https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/switch-from-graphic-design-to-ux/
  4. https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-experience.html
  5. Book – Killer UX Design by Jodie Moule
  6. https://www.google.com/search?q=texture+meaning&rlz=1C1RLNS_enIN869IN869&oq=texture+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l6j69i65.6462j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  7. https://www.lynda.com/learning-paths/Design/become-a-graphic-designer
  8. https://learn.g2.com/what-is-graphic-design
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