graphic artist vs graphic designer image
Graphic Design

Graphic Artist vs Graphic Designer: Is There a Difference?

If you are a fan of the visual world, you probably stumbled upon the terms graphic artist and graphic designer. Little did you know that these terms are not synonyms and mean entirely different things. Even though they are related to the very same domain, there are opposing views you should know about.

In case you are looking for a job that would be suitable for your skills and preferences, paying attention to the characteristics of each concept mentioned above is essential.

The graphic artist and the graphic designer must involve creative abilities in their work. But what makes them so contrasting?

If you want to learn more about this article, continue to read. Graphic artist vs. graphic designer: what’s the best for you?

The world of visual content

People express themselves better visually. Words are sometimes not powerful enough to convey the ideas and thoughts of a person. Visual content is more effective than any other form of suggesting a belief, an opinion, or a perception.

It is essential to understand that delivering visual content always has a purpose behind it. People who create visuals do it because of something that drives them to.

Graphic artists might be driven by imagination, while graphic designers have tasks to complete because that’s their day job. This purpose is the one that guides the visual outcome in one direction or another. The skills involved in creating visuals cannot be learned through studying – one must possess them from the beginning.

Once you understand the graphic artist vs. graphic designer topic, you might start perceiving visuals in an entirely new way. One thing is sure – visuals will always be required to empower an idea, regardless of its type.

Most people prefer visuals over other communication methods, so the industry will continuously evolve.

Being a graphic artist

To define both concepts, the characteristics of each should be stated.

A graphic artist is a person who doesn’t necessarily have proficient schooling in design. Designers are usually talented persons who want to create various types of artwork. They work freely, using their imagination and unique style, and transpose whatever seems relevant to them into visual content.

Graphic artists can create content for print shops or similar production-type jobs. If you are familiar with Instagram or other visual-based platforms, you can search for hashtags such as artwork or illustration to see freelancers in action.

Graphic artwork mainly expresses the artist’s thoughts and ideas, not something the client desires. Of course, a theme is given, but the artist has no limitations in creating the final product.

Art is based on creativity and talent, unlike exact tasks requiring respecting rules and preferences.

A graphic artist facilitates storytelling and ideas through images, impressing people emotionally with his work. Of course, graphic artists still respect design elements and principles; otherwise, their work wouldn’t be visually pleasing. Their compositions are simply less strict compared to other graphic design works.

The fields a graphic artist works in include illustration, graphic novels, comic books, movie illustration, and so on.

As you may notice, the denominator between these fields would be the freedom they get when creating artwork. Their purpose is not to communicate something effectively but to entertain the viewer visually.

A graphic artist’s most important weapon is his unique style.

Being a graphic designer

On the other hand, being a graphic designer involves different sets of rules and a distinct purpose.

Graphic designers have to communicate an idea in the most facile way possible. Sometimes, they have to focus on the commercial point of view rather than the artistic one.

People who hire graphic designers want to solve a particular problem they encounter with delivering a message. To work as a graphic designer, you need to have specific schooling in this domain, a lot of experience, and a good portfolio.

Designing is based on rules, principles, and regulations one cannot avoid. Although graphic designers work with visuals, they don’t have to put the same amount of creativity into it.

graphic designer image

Being a graphic artist or a graphic designer involves many dissimilarities you should be aware of. The purpose of creation is the focal point of the discussion.

Their work is more specific – the client states precisely what he wants, and a graphic designer must follow his instructions strictly. It doesn’t mean they don’t have to develop new ideas. Depending on each project a graphic designer gets, the requirements change.

They don’t get complete freedom, as the outcome should respect the customer’s preferences instead of their own. Maintaining good communication between you and your client as a graphic designer is a condition, not an option. Without correctly stating what they want, you risk creating something irrelevant to what the customers expected.

A graphic designer must respect a strict style adapted entirely to the client’s needs. He also has to follow the changes in graphic design, from programs and new technologies to influences and trends.

Adapting to change is a rule that graphic designers have to follow.

Graphic artist vs. graphic designer

Now that you have a better grasp of each term, let’s point out the differences between a graphic artist and a graphic designer.

As mentioned in this article, both the artist and the designer work with a similar set of skills.

But what element differentiates the two? The answer is simple – how they use that set of skills and the freedom, they get when working on a project.

While a graphic artist might reach his absolute potential in terms of imagination and creativity, a graphic designer can be limited to the rules set by his client. At the same time, the visual artist is not bound to follow any design rules or principles, but the graphic designer has to.

The artist and the designer have to approach different perspectives, regardless of the project they work on.

Being flexible and respecting deadlines is part of each one’s job. The contrast resides in the fact that a graphic artist might take longer to finish his project, as it involves a longer creational process than a graphic designer’s work.

The battle between a graphic artist and a graphic designer is about how they approach and find solutions to problems. One is more expressiveness-oriented, while the other focuses on delivering a clear message as effectively as possible.

The work of a graphic artist leaves room for interpretation, as he has plenty of freedom to put into his art. On the other hand, a graphic designer should come across with unhindered visuals to express a message.

Final words

This article offered complex definitions and descriptions of graphic artists and designers. You should be able to make the difference between the two and decide which one is more appropriate for what you need – no matter it is about pursuing a career in this domain or hiring someone to help you with one of your projects.

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