What is the difference between design and illustration?

It is easy to confuse these art forms as they are closely related and intertwined. In fact there are several artists who move in both creative fields between illustration and graphic design, in this article I will explain the difference between design and illustration.

Diferencias entre diseño gráfico e ilustración

The main difference between graphic design and illustration is how and where they are used. Generally, graphic design is more commercial, while illustration is related to fine arts.

In recent years more commercial projects are using emotional images and that makes them turn to illustrations, so these differences become less obvious over time. These are some differences to take into account:

Messages and art

The graphic design approach is often commercial, the professionals who create these images are thinking of communicating something visually.

Its main objective is to convey a message that impacts the viewer to get them to respond with some specific action such as buying or simply that everyone knows about a brand.

Illustrators focus on showing their own individual style through their work. Graphic design’s main job is to communicate, be very precise, and combine text with images. Graphic design that has a confusing message is bad design.

On the other hand, if an illustration has an unclear or ambiguous message, it can be considered an abstract and interesting art.

In a book, illustrations can grab your attention, but if the reader just skims them that may not necessarily be a problem. But if someone ignores a graphic design, it means that they did not communicate their work well.

Distintas herramientas

For most designers their main tool is the computer. They use different softwares to create their work.

An illustrator can work on the computer, but will most likely have a sketchbook to draw what he sees or imagines for later painting.

While one person can work in both fields, that is, a graphic designer can also be an illustrator. Probably if you are a great illustrator, the process of learning to work with the programs that these professionals handle will not be automatic.

¿Qué es el diseño gráfico?

When we think of graphic design, many things come to mind. Many of them are related to art ads, website graphics, posters, infographics, book covers, and the list goes on.

If we start to list examples this would be a good start to get a visual idea of ​​what we are talking about. But we also need an overview to help us better understand this artistic and creative field.

According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, graphic design is “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” In simpler terms, graphic design communicates messages in text and graphics, what we call “visual communication”.

These visual elements can be a company logo or website design. Everything is very relative according to the objective and the request of the companies.

What is graphic design for?

Graphic design serves to help companies promote and sell products or services through advertising, taking graphic and textual elements to implement them in different digital or traditional media, it also serves to help transmit complicated information in a digestible way through infographics or to develop graphic identity.

Many graphic design projects have a commercial purpose such as advertisements and logos, it is also used in other contexts such as artistic manifestations, social projects or education.

Graphic design features
To better understand this art, it is essential to tell you the most important characteristics of graphic design.

  • Visual elements in graphic design are used together or in opposition to create visually striking designs.
  • Elements of graphic design: color, shapes, lines, space, texture, size.
  • Graphic designers have to respect the basic principles of design. They are a set of guidelines that will help your design achieve an effective composition.
  • The basic principles help create balance and stability in your artistic work.
  • Balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, proportion and rhythm are the characteristics of the basic principles of graphic design.

But the rules are made to be broken but first it is necessary to understand what these principles are.

Author avatar
Hello! I'm Marco Antonio, better known in the design world as Antonee. I'm passionate about exploring the universe of visual expression in all its forms. As a systems analyst, SEO manager, photographer, and graphic designer, I'm the founder of Gooova Studio, a space to showcase all of my work.

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