Graphic Design vs. Multimedia & Digital Arts: What’s the Difference?

When you think of careers in the arts, what comes to mind? Maybe you picture a painter or sculptor hunched over their canvas. Or maybe you imagine someone posing as a model while another person snaps photos. Or possibly you imagine a dancer leaping across the stage. With all those images in your head, it can be hard to know which type of career best fits your interests and abilities. Do you feel like graphic design is my passion? Are you more of an artist than a technician? Do you have a more natural talent for dance than drawing? Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others? These are all important questions to ask yourself when choosing the right arts career for you. If that sounds scary, don’t worry! We’ll walk you through everything from what each major entails to examples of job titles and educational requirements. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between graphic design vs digital arts and multimedia.

Graphic Design

At its core, graphic design is all about visually communicating information and ideas. In order to do this, designers will create images and typefaces, use colour and images to represent information in a visual way, and create layouts to organize information and guide the reader’s eye. Nowadays, the field of visual communication is extremely broad and has many sub-specialities. Graphic designers might specialize in anything from print, web and video design to branding and marketing materials to product packaging and retail spaces. Graphic designers must be skilled communicators and creative problem solvers who can work in teams, interpret briefs, manage time effectively and work under pressure. Graphic designers must also have a strong foundation in design principles, typography, and software skills. Graphic designers must have an eye for detail and be able to clearly and effectively convey ideas. The best way to get a sense of what the field is like is to look at examples of graphic design portfolio.

Multimedia and Digital Arts

Graphic design art, computer graphics, interactive design, and digital media are often used interchangeably. Although each of these fields has specific definitions, the term multimedia is often used to describe them all. In other words, multimedia is the general term for these fields and digital art is a more specific term. Multimedia and digital arts are visual arts that include the use of computers and various pieces of software. The fields offer a wide variety of career options, including computer graphics, interactive media, web design, computer animation and special effects, computer programming, virtual reality, etc. Multimedia and digital arts are related to graphic design, but they’re more specific fields that include both design and technology skills. A designer in one of these fields will likely create visual, interactive designs (often called “digital art”) using computer software. For example, a designer might use a graphic design software program like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create digital artwork, or a program like Adobe After Effects to create motion graphics.

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The main difference between graphic design and multimedia is that multimedia uses sound and/or video in addition to design. For example, a multimedia designer might create an interactive website that includes a video of a product being used in a real-life setting. A graphic designer artist designs static images that usually appear in publications like magazines, brochures, websites, and posters. However, modern designers also create moving images like advertisements, web animations, and even short films. As more businesses are creating interactive digital marketing materials such as websites, apps, and virtual reality experiences, designers are increasingly being asked to include animation and interactivity in their work.

How are Graphic Design, Multimedia and Digital Arts Related?

Graphic design, multimedia, and digital arts all fall under the larger umbrella of visual arts. While the three fields are related, each has its own unique set of skills and career options. Graphic design, multimedia, and digital arts are closely related fields that overlap in many ways. They all fall under the larger umbrella of visual arts and each field has its own unique set of skills and career options.

Which is the Best Art Career for You?

As you’ve seen, there are several different paths within the visual arts. Depending on your interests, abilities, and personality, you can choose a career that focuses on design, technology, or a combination of both. If you’re more interested in design and creative problem solving, you might enjoy a career with an attractive graphic designer salary. If you’re especially skilled at working with technology, you might want to consider taking up graphic designing classes for advancing your career. If you love the idea of combining design and technology, you might want to consider a career in interactive media.

Bottom line

Graphic design, multimedia, and digital arts are all related fields that fall under the larger umbrella of visual arts. While the three fields are related, each has its own unique set of skills and career options. If you’re interested in graphic design jobs but aren’t sure which path to take, take some time to explore each of these fields. By reading about each career, talking to people in each field and doing some soul searching, you can choose a path that’s right for you. If you decide to opt for a career in motion graphics, UBI Academy offers a great master’s program with graphic design internships in industry-leading companies.