Is Graphic Design Always a Creative Design?

  • by Lois Nur Fathiarini
  • August 19, 2023
  • 3 minutes read


In the marketing and business world, the terms creative design and graphic design are often used interchangeably. In fact, these terms mean different job descriptions while they are actualy closely related. Both creative and graphic design are often understood as the same thing, but graphic design is a vast major. Why there’s ‘creative design’ term when graphic design is already there? Is graphic design always a creative design?

Creative design and graphic design are visual works that are important on the industry, especially for marketing and branding purpose. Publishers that published visual content can get more traffic 12 times higher than those who didn’t. That’s why the power of visual works is very important for the industry.

What is a Creative Design actually?

Creative design, according to Indeed, is an activity that involved the making process of visual works both in digital ways and printed results for marketing purposes. From other sources, creative design is graphic works that made with computer and digital animations that designed to make a product.

From two different views above, we can see that the objective of creative design works are vary, from marketing activities to product designing. A creative designer is a professional who uses his/her skills to advertise a company for its product or services. The objective of creative design activity is so that customers can easily recognize a brand and differs it from its competitors.

The Difference of Creative Designer and Graphic Designer

From the previous paragraph, we can tell that creative design is an ability or skill, meanwhile graphic design is a process. Creative design is not only about using Adobe InDesign or Photoshop, but the work itself is involving creative process that has inventive value. The creative designers are able to visualize solutions in form of ideas, suggestions or creative briefs.

source: freepik.com

A creative designer need not only artistic and basic design skills, but also an understanding of the specific industry he/she is working in and its current trends. Skills through on-the-job training and work experience can help a creative designer to gain excellent communication skills to present concepts to the rest of the advertising or marketing team he/she works with.

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A graphic designer activity in the making of digital products is valued as another different process; a graphic designer is not always a creative designer. Thus, graphic design is a part of creative design process.

Graphic Designer and Creative Designer

A graphic designer as we know is responsible for creating physical or digital visual products to communicate a specific idea to audience. A creative designer is not just responsible for that, but also initiating and finding ideas, concepts and innovations of the design itself according to the needs.

The main keyword is creativity, which then referring to the ability for problem solving in design thinking and design sprints. So a creative designer will also offer a visual expression of the problem solutions (in the form of design) which is valued by its clients or companies.

Conclusively, a graphic designer is similar to a creative designer, but it’s just one job that falls under this category. Whilst graphic designer and creative designer are sometimes used interchangeably, they aren’t the same. To know what actually a creative designer do, we will write it down in another article about creative designer job descriptions, just stay tune!


Hello! My name is Lois, I live in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. I am a tattoo artist and I also love sewing and making needleworks. I also do watercolor painting and illustrations.

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