Graphic Design vs. Interactive Design

Are you interested in designing and want to land a job in this industry? If the answer is yes, you must have heard of terms like graphic or interactive design.

So, what are the jobs and responsibilities of each field? Which is the better career, graphic or interactive designer? All these questions will come to light after you read this comparison.

Now let’s dwell straight in. I will discuss the basic features of each profession. It will help you pick a suitable path for your interests.

What is Graphic Design?

Have you seen eye-catching posters on the streets? What about the beautiful pictures in magazines? All these products are the work of graphic designers.

Graphic designing is an act of conveying ideas. However, the communication method is not words or sounds. It’s the visual arts the audience interacts with.

This art can be a simple logo or a large picture, and it must carry a message to the viewers. For example, a company can hire designers to create posters.

These posters must be attractive enough to catch viewers’ attention. They make more people know about their products and promote sales. Therefore, graphic designing is a bridge leading to customers.

Yet, your work doesn’t always have to serve commercial purposes. Many people draw pictures to express their artistic interests. It is up to the ultimate purpose of the creator.

Besides excellent artistic skills, you must have creativity. Ideas and inspiration are the keys to becoming a successful designer.

This field is where traditional art flourishes.

What is Interactive Design?

This field focuses on designing the interaction between a user and an online product. Most of the time, it is a website or software.

The goal of interactive designers is to increase users’ experience. They help you interact with a product better and achieve the most out of it.

It also involves elements like sound and audio effects. For example, you can help build a website’s interface and related functions. Your goal is to make the site more attractive and easier to use.

Unlike graphic designing, this field focuses on digital products. The designers work mainly with computers and designing tools. Instead of creating visual art on paper, you make it on the screen.

Your goal is to increase online users’ experience.

Key Differences

FeaturesGraphic DesignInteractive Design
SkillsTraditional art and hand drawingCoding and web designing
ToolsTraditional art & Digital designing toolsDigital designing tools
JobsWork for advertising agencies or publicationsWork for website owners or software companies

1. Accessibility

Both professions require excellent designing skills and knowledge. Yet, the learning curve of interactive design is more complex. It’s because you have to learn extra computing skills and coding programmes.

Meanwhile, graphic design is simpler and more accessible. It rarely requires extra coding and web developing skills. Your duty is to create attractive visual products that suit customer needs.

An example of hand-drawn products

2. Skills Required

Drawing skill is a critical ability for graphic designers. You must master the principles and techniques of traditional art. Plus, you must be able to think fast and come up with creative solutions.

Meanwhile, the required skillset for interaction design is much more diverse. A good sense of art and creativity are indispensable skills. Yet, you must learn to use different design software and tools.

In addition, the designers should master coding. It’s an essential skill for building websites and creating digital products.

3. Tools

Graphic designers usually use traditional art tools like paper and pens. You can also draw digital products with a tablet and a smart pen. Yet, most of the projects must be drawn manually.

Meanwhile, interactive designers use design apps and software. The only tool you need is the computer. Besides the software, you must learn to use many programming languages.

4. Salaries

Our report indicates that graphic designers earn an average of $66,687 annually. The number of interactive designers is up to $110,000.

It’s clear that interaction design brings a significantly higher salary. The average salaries and additional pay rolls are nearly twice the amount of its counterpart.

5. Job Outlooks

Advertising is the most popular field for graphic designers. You can join an advertising firm and create different projects for customers. In these firms, you will work in a team and be responsible for a specific task.

The projects you handle in these firms are very diverse. It can be simple printed posters to online mail. The goal is to attract customers and enhance promotion.

Plus, you should be ready to switch between different tasks in a short time. It creates more deadlines and can make the designers feel overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, most interactive designers help with building websites and software. These large projects require a large team with multiple members. The designers are responsible for creating the visual aspects of the project.

For example, you must build the layout and content of a website. Then, you must adjust your project according to customers’ responses.

Coding is a part of interaction design.

Which One Should You Choose?

Are you good at drawing pictures and visual arts manually? Or do you love spending hours on computers designing projects? These two questions can help you pick a suitable career.

In summary, graphic designing focuses more on traditional art. Its target products revolve around visual and printed work. It can be a poster or a publication that carries a message.

Therefore, this field is suitable for traditional artists and visual creators. It requires excellent drawing skills as well as creativity.

Meanwhile, interactive design is more complex. This profession focuses on creating digital products. They range from websites to systems and software. Besides, you must be good at using design tools and programming.

The skills in this field are deeper and more advanced than graphic design. It’s a suitable option for those who love digital design and using computing tools.

Final Verdict

Graphic design and interactive design shares the same goal. They create beautiful visual art to attract viewers. Through this work, the designers can convey their ideas and fulfill customers’ needs.

Every profession requires hard work and constant practice. I hope you can pick a suitable career path to fulfill your passion. Thank you for reading!