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Digital Design vs. Graphic Design Explained.

Graphic Design Sep 5, 2022

The world of Design is like a vast sea, and many new concepts get solid ground with the help of technology. Many use digital and graphic design interchangeably, considering them similar terms, but there is a fundamental difference between them. Both follow the basic design principles, but we will shed some light on their differences and help you understand digital design in detail.

So, what exactly is the difference between graphic design and digital design?

The primary difference between graphic design and digital design is that graphic design is mostly static (logos, pictures, and more), whereas digital design involves movement (animations, interactive elements, movies etc.). Digital design may include audio and sound effects in addition to visual arts.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic designing is projecting and expressing ideas with visual and textual content. In regards to this topic, graphic design is mostly static and may involve the use of print materials as well. Graphic designers apply illustration, sketching, and design skills to create visual graphics for web pages and print. Our graphic designing courses shed more light on Graphic Design and its aspects.

Also Read: How To Be A Graphic Designer

What is Digital Design?

Digital Design is the set of processes that involve movements, such as interactive pages, visual animation, and 2D or 3D modeling. A digital design focuses on interactiveness, making the Design usable for the user for deeper visual communication. Digital designers leverage sound and analytics to play a crucial role in the form of likes, shares, downloads, and pageviews to help understand the effectiveness of a digital design.

Digital designers use technology and their imagination to create media that can be viewed on a screen or through a digital interface. Web design, animation, interactive elements, and 2D or 3D models are examples of this. Web designing is one of several types that fall under the umbrella of digital design.

Types of Digital Design

There are an overwhelming number of digital devices these days, with an exponential number of use cases that must be considered in design. Digital design is a broad category in itself that encompasses a wide range of these overwhelming number of digital interfaces, each with its own set of applications. Let's go over some of the most common types of digital designs to get a better idea of which one is right for you.

1. Web Design

Web design is the most common form of digital design: a website is as common for businesses these days as a logo.

Digital designers visually represent a company, their products/services, and their work so far through a website design. It guides users to have an engaging experience that aims to make them take a specific action.

2. Landing Page Design

A subset of web design, but more focused on marketing.

These are the single-page marketing offshoots of a website to attract consumers with offerings such as product discounts and make the user perform the intended call-to-action.

3. App Design

Apps are interactive product suites with a wide variety of functions from interacting with people(social media), playing songs, playing games, reading books, or shopping online.

App designs are often similar to web page designs, but they are intended to perform a specific function. Digital designers should consider many things such as the target market, design architecture, data visualization, and UI/UX aspects while designing an app.

4. 3D Design

3D design is the process of creating objects within a three-dimensional space using computer software like Autodesk Maya.

While 3D designs can be used for entertainment (particularly in the video game and animated film industries), brands use them to render products or create mockups of planned construction projects. Product mockups, gaming apps, and special effects are commonly seen in 3D design projects.

5. Interface Design

Creating a graphical and interactive user interface to offer an engaging and visually-stunning experience to the users is the primary concept behind interface design.

6. Dashboard Design

Analytics is common across industries, and dashboards are the means of understanding the data more simply. Data dashboards bring together UI and UX design, visual design, data visualization, and app design.

7. App Icon Design

App icons are the buttons that users use to launch an app. They serve as an advertisement for the app (in the app store) as well as branding.

Apps, whether they perform a shopping, messaging, or music-playing function, are essentially digital tools for users. Although they are most commonly used on mobile devices, apps can also be used on desktop computers.


  1. What makes a digital design successful?

A good digital design makes your content easy to understand. To do that, planning for a variety of screen sizes and adhering to fundamental design principles such as visual hierarchy and the use of white space is important.

2. Is digital design the future?

Business practices across the globe have evolved. Companies have had to shift their focus to digital as consumers prefer to interact through online channels. It stresses the importance of providing visual content and experiences that can be 'used interactively' rather than being static.

As digital design evolves, the future indicates the creation of functional and immersive experiences that seamlessly integrate augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D printing.


Digital Design vs Graphic Design can be a good discussion to understand the basic differences between the two, especially if you are researching to choose a career path between these two options. ProAlley offers solutions for career paths with interactive and self-paced courses such as Adobe Illustrator Essentials, Adobe Photoshop Essentials, and CorelDRAW Essentials, discuss visual design elements in detail.

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