What is Graphic Design?

Every catchy and attractive design you see around you has elements of graphic design in it, whether print or digital. Graphic design is the use of visual elements and principles to formulate the message in the best possible way. It is visual communication with the help of images and graphics to relay information and concepts to people.

Table of Contents

What Are the Elements of Graphic Design?

One of the critical uses of Graphic Design is its ability to create strong visual communication, whether to inspire, send across a message or provoke action. Graphic design elements are those puzzle pieces essential to create that perfect design.


You see lines everywhere in designs, whether to communicate a message, emphasize a point, or separate information from each other. Lines, one of the most basic graphic design elements, are also used invisibly to give structure and direction to the content. Visible lines can be used to convey a variety of messages. For example, heavy dark lines are used to highlight a threat or relay stability. A line has many variations like curved, zig-zag, wavy, scribbled, dotted, etc. Designers use lines to connect content and create elaborate catchy designs.


Color, again is one of the most important graphic design elements. A great tool to convey an emotion or mood, colors play a central role in the aesthetic appeal of any visual. The right color will help you relay information, highlight a point, emphasize linked texts/words, and enhance any design's context and visual appeal. Designers use color properties like hues, tints, shades, gradients, tones, saturation, etc., to create visually appealing designs.


Shapes are at the base of graphic design, used by designers to emphasize any part and convey information. In a way, they are the workhorses of graphic design as everything, in the end, is a shape. Many types of shapes exist, like geometric, abstract, free-flowing shapes, etc. They can help you highlight any part of the design, create interesting patterns, build layouts, create a flow from one element to another, separate or define elements, and create interactive elements in the design. Designers can use shapes for multiple purposes, making them one of the keystone elements in the uses of Graphic Design.


Experienced designers understand the importance of negative or white space in a design. It is the area around the elements in any visual design. Negative space plays a central role in how your design gets perceived by your audience. Take the help of white space to define, separate, or give shapes to the elements. Negative space helps in leading the user's eye to the relevant information, defining its relevance, and, most importantly, giving rest to eyes from information overload. Negative space can be of any specific color or white, depending on the design, and qualifies as one of the most central graphic design elements.


It is wrong to think that texture doesn't hold any importance for intangible. As anything you see, whether physical or digital, has a surface. Designers use paper and materials to create textures in packaging design. Digital, rich graphics help create designs that give the impression of textures. Designers can create 3-D texts, glass-smooth photographs, and embossed or sunken patterns depending on the look they seek to create. All in all, textures can help create an immersive world and aid in the process of creating designs that speak to the consumer.


Can you think of anything more important than a text or a word in a design? Yes, white space, colors, everything makes for important pieces in the picture, but can you think of any design without relevant text? Typography comprises the style, shape, and arrangement of the texts in a design. Designers create texts with a similar typeface design called fonts. The fonts you choose will tell your readers whether you are a kid's book, a newspaper/magazine, a gen Z food blogger, or an author. Fonts are as important as the text that you put in the design. Sans-serif, serif, script, and display are common graphic design fonts.


As one of the graphic design elements, the scale refers to the size of an element with respect to another. Nobody wants to see a design that's symmetrical in terms of size. It will be boring to look at and might not even place all the elements correctly. Scale creates depth, movement, and interest in a design. When used correctly, you can emphasize parts and showcase rhythm, balance, and harmony in your design. The element also influences how we perceive the overall design in the context of the size and placement of the elements. For instance, a large and a small text placed consecutively will relay different importance and meaning in the design.

Principles of Graphic Design

Elements of design help in achieving the principles of graphic design to create perfectly balanced designs that speak to the audience. Listed below are a few principles of graphic design that interact with the design elements individually and in the entire composition.


Proximity helps in decluttering the design by grouping similar or related elements together. It supports organizing the design so the viewer can best comprehend the information. The graphic design principle is often applied in menus, lists, and invitations. Proximity builds a visual connection between different elements in a design, like color, font, shapes, etc., to create perfectly balanced, harmonious designs.


Balance provides stability to a design. It lets viewers comprehend the information smoothly and navigate through the design in the easiest way possible. Designers use symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial designs, depending on how they want to convey the information.


Alignment creates coherence and connection among elements of graphic design like visuals, texts, shapes, etc. It is one of the essential principles of graphic design as it lends a sharp and ordered appearance to your design. You can align your texts (left, right, center), take care of the scale (compare the proportion of elements), etc., to create clean interactive visuals.


Repetition is what will help people remember your designs and brand. Make sure your content strategy incorporates consistent fonts, colors, visuals, and brand imagery to help people recognize and remember your designs and brand. Repetition will help people remember your brand and other important information as well.


Contrast helps create variety in a design and adds strategic emphasis to parts that could have merged otherwise. Designers use contrasting colors, fonts, etc., to highlight important aspects of the design. Contrasts are created when opposite elements are placed in a layout like light and dark, thick and thin, big and small, traditional and modern, etc.

What Are the Different Types of Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a diverse field incorporating different creative fields that can be loosely put into the following categories-

Web Graphic Design

Web designers create interactive and useful layouts for websites (landing pages, home pages). Designers work with the UI team to create interactive and visually appealing web pages.

Packaging and Product Design

Designers help create an attractive cover or look for the product or service. Designers create packaging designs that help the product stand out from the competition and promote brand identity and resemblance.

Motion Graphic Design

Motion designers help create designs that are in movement, whether animated tutorials for any product, animated logos, video Ads, etc.

Brand Design

Brand designers, with web designers, work to create the brand story. Designers create elements (logos, icons) to convey brand value and identity to users.

Marketing Design

Marketing is an essential part of establishing brand identity. Marketing designers work to create visual assets that best communicate the brand to the target audience.

User Interface Design

UI designers work to create a balance between the aesthetics and functionality of a design. They work to improve the user experience and user interaction with the applications and devices.

Print and publication designers help create designs that are ready to be printed, like magazine ADs, albums, flyers, book covers, etc.

In a Nutshell

With the help of graphic design, you can aim for consistent, identifiable branding that will etch your brand in your customers’ minds. Graphic designers make use of graphic elements and principles to create the most impactful visual communication and help you be in a competitive position and boost sales. Estatic has a team of well-experienced designers. If you want to Hire a Graphic Designer, we offer great solutions.

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