Is a web designer a graphic designer

Media Design, Communication Design, and Graphic Design - What's the Difference?

Graphic design & communication design

Graphic design is the oldest term for courses in this field. It comes from a time when the main focus was on the design of analog materials. This includes, for example, advertising brochures, company logos or the layout of magazines.

Over the decades, however, the demands placed on graphic designers have changed significantly. Today, the design of websites, exhibition stands or packaging is also one of the tasks. So no longer just designing pure graphic products, but also elements that are used for communication between customers and companies. Accordingly, the term "graphic design", which was no longer entirely up-to-date, was often replaced by "communication design" or "visual communication".

Today they say:

Communication design includes the visual design of content in various media. It is no longer just about the implementation of posters, advertisements or editorial designs, but also the entire strategy behind it needs to be understood. So one speaks generally of corporate communication when one publishes advertising, office equipment, website including digital media.

Nowadays there is no longer any notable difference between graphic design and communication design. The difference to media design, on the other hand, lies in the Concentration on the manual skills to design communication materials. Example: A graphic designer or communication designer creates the layout for a website, but usually does not program it himself.

In our databases for communication design and graphic design you can immediately search for the right universities for you:

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  • Universities that offer a degree in communication / graphic design
    Communication design, UX designIU distance learning
    Media designIU combined course
    Communication design, UI / UX design, creative ...University of Europe for Applied Sciences
    Image science, game studies, game-based media ...Danube University Krems
    Media design, game design, digital film design - ...Media design university
    Web developmentSAE Institute GmbH
    Communication design, strategic design, ...SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences - Berlin School of Design and Communication
    Virtual realitiesSRH University of Heidelberg
    Brand and communication design (with internship)AMD Academy Fashion & Design
    Graphic design (various focuses), technical ...DIPLOMA University

By the way: Studying is not the only way to become a graphic designer! If you would rather work immediately and do a lot of practical work, can imagine replacing a seat in the lecture hall with a vocational school bench and are not afraid of working life, one could be Training in graphic design suit you even better than studying. Find out more about training for these and related media professions on our Information pages on training and check out ours too Training databasearound!

The media design course is very firmly anchored in digital media, so it mainly deals with audiovisual media, apps, web design and photography, while graphic design is more in the print sector. In media design, you often also learn rudimentary programming skills in order to be able to implement the design even better (although not to the same extent as in a media informatics degree).

Accordingly, you can focus primarily on media design at universities digital topics lay. But: Every university handles it differently. Be sure to read through the curriculum and modules carefully so that you can also work on the areas of your studies that you have imagined.

We also list the right universities for you here for studying media design:

Find suitable universities

As you can see, there is no such thing as the typical media design course. Rather, you have to find out more about the course content and focus areas at each university, because many have different specialization options.

But if you want to show the difference to graphic design or communication design, you can say:

Media design is above all working on and for digital media. The course content ranges from modern photography and interactive design to web design and programming. Occasionally, classic design content such as graphic design also appears in the course.

To make the whole thing even more complicated, there are also courses called “Media and Communication Design”, for example.

To briefly illustrate the differences next to each other:

Communication design & graphic design is ...

... print, corporate design, book design, poster design, guidance systems, advertising and campaign development, photography, illustration, font development, exhibition stands, packaging design, etc.

Media design is ...

... motion, 3D, film, digital design, programming, moving image animation, web design, interactive design, interactive installations, compositing, video editing, film title design, audiovisual design, etc.

We have ours so that you can immediately find out what options you have for your studies University database all institutions where you can study design have been compiled. So you can start your research right away!

To the university database