What is the difference between graphic design and marketing?

Merriam Webster defines graphic design as “the art or profession of using design elements (such as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect. Marketing is defined as “the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service.

What is the difference between graphic design and marketing?

Merriam Webster defines graphic design as “the art or profession of using design elements (such as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect. Marketing is defined as “the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service. In essence, graphic design is used to promote the brand, while marketing is used to sell it. A company that uses graphic design as the last impetus in a campaign may have disjointed and ineffective images that don't attract the ideal customer.

On the other hand, a company that sees graphic design as a way of telling its story through coherent and specific images will reach consumers faster and with better results. That's why graphic design should never be the last step in your marketing plan. Marketing thinking is about seeing people together so that you can communicate with them as efficiently as possible. On the contrary, design thinking is about seeing people as individuals so that you can delight that person and then extrapolate it to others.

Fortunately, companies like Canva are making the image creation process a breeze for marketers, but you still need some design talent to create that perfect Canva creation. While designers understand the distinction, it seems that marketers strategically position designers below them to earn more money and control design thinking. It's also important for graphic designers to work with marketing teams to truly understand the target audience, helping to avoid design based solely on personal preferences or templates. Even if the differences between marketing and design were palpable a year ago, these sentiments are no longer true today.

Making just one more sale per hundred visitors can make a big difference in a company's profit margins. Fundamentally, marketing is about talking to a group, while design is about creating something for an individual. Today, in the startup scene, the mindset of design thinking is well defined, well understood and appreciated. The most powerful thing I did to learn how designers think was to read Thoughtless Acts by Jane Fulton Suri from Ideo.

Stock images are a band-aid used to hide the wound that a designer lacks and the lack of concern for your own content. By working on an online design tool like Creatopy, marketing and design departments can much more easily understand how to optimize their workflow and collaborate to achieve tangible results. In particular, a way of addressing new product development, business strategy and marketing problems is called design thinking. Of course, most of these “by-products” of graphic design are related to a company's marketing needs.

Design and marketing are closely related, but (as Idealog has always advocated) Design Thinking plays a valuable role in business creativity. That's why, as a designer, it's more important than ever to include some marketing principles in your projects.

Ian Russell
Ian Russell

Award-winning bacon fanatic. Incurable twitter enthusiast. Professional zombie ninja. Friendly food evangelist. Incurable twitter junkie. Passionate food ninja.