Differences Between Advertising Design and Graphic Design

Advertising design and graphic design are two disciplines that can be easily confused with each other. But in fact, they are different in several ways. The main difference between the two is that advertising design is more about creating full-scale advertising concepts, while graphic design is more about creating visuals with text, fonts, colors, and composition

It’s important to note the word “advertising” in the term, advertising design. That means that an advertising designer works in the advertising industry, different from graphic designers who can work in several various industries. When we talk about the relationship between advertising designers and graphic designers, it’s good to note that they usually work together in a creative team. Many times, this creative team is part of an advertising agency, where the advertising designer will create the concept that the graphic designer will bring to life, with the help of other creative individuals.

Let’s take a look at what each one does in their field and how they work together to achieve a common goal.


What Does An Advertising Designer Do?

An advertising designer works directly with a client. Their job is to create a concept for an advertising campaign that can include many types of content. From print designs to TV commercials, radio advertisements, and more

The main goal for an advertising designer is to sell their client’s product or service. To achieve this, the clients meet with the advertising designer to talk about what their brand and company need. Usually, advertising designers work in an advertising agency. In some cases, the advertising designer owns the agency, and other times they are part of a large corporate agency like Publicis.

graphic design

After meeting with the client, the advertising designers use their knowledge of marketing psychology and emotional visual marketing to create the right type of advertising for the client’s brand. Advertising designers work with creative teams to create content that makes up the advertising strategy

This team is made up not only of graphic designers but also copywriters, storyboard designers, filmmakers, advertising directors, and more. The further along in the process and the wider variety of content that needs to be created, the more people are involved in bringing the advertising director’s vision to life.

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers work with all visual aspects of a design. They work with text, fonts, composition, and other design principles to create any type of visual design. In contrast to an advertising designer, they don’t just work in advertising. Graphic designers work in many different industries, from branding to album covers and anything in between.

graphic design

A graphic designer’s job is to create visual compositions that represent something specific. The logo for a plumbing company, a party flyer, a beer poster, etc… Their visual designs can be visual representations of a brand, such as a logo, brand typography, color schemes and visual assets. In other cases, a graphic designer’s creations may represent a story on a book cover or an advertising designer’s vision for a billboard advertisement.

How Do They Work Together?

The work of an advertising designer and a graphic designer cross paths when a company approaches an advertising agency to create an advertising strategy for their product or service. Generally, clients will contact several different agencies, and the advertising designers from each will present their creative ideas. The client chooses their favorite, and then the concept is brought to life.

The advertising designer will need visuals for every step of the process, and that’s where the graphic designer comes in. The advertising designer transmits the concept of their strategy to the graphic designer. Then the designer will use the brand guide of the company and the advertising designer’s vision to create all the assets.

graphic design

When the graphic designer is finished, the advertising designer presents all the assets to the client. Then revisions are done until the project is completed. The usual projects that advertising designers and graphic designers work on together are print ads, billboard ads, bus billboards, magazines or editorial advertisements, and any type of visual that needs to sell a product or service.

Last Thoughts

Even though an advertising designer and a graphic designer don’t do the same job, they do have to work together as a team. It also helps for both creatives to know at least a little about the other’s role. That way, they can have better communication and an even better final project.

If you are interested in starting a career in advertising design, you have to study marketing and advertising techniques. It helps quite a bit if you also have a background in graphic design. If you are a graphic designer and you’d like to work with advertising designers, search for open job positions in advertising agencies. In some cases, advertising designers will hire freelance graphic designers if their agency is small, and they need more creative brains for a large project.