Over the years, graphics design vs UI design has been a major topic, and as a platform dedicated to UI/UX, you can count on us to provide you with a comprehensive review about the topic.

It’s without a doubt that graphic design and UI design are used interchangeably in the design world. However, both have their unique differences which many designers don’t know of.

Defining Graphic Design & UI Design

Before we dive into discussing the differences and similarities between graphic design and UI design, let’s quickly define the term “graphic design” and “UI design”.

What is Graphic Design?

What is Graphic Design

What is Graphic Design

Graphic design is an artistic discipline that deals with using visual elements to communicate a message or an idea.

With graphic design knowledge, you’ll be able to create static visual elements that are not just appealing, but also consistent, and effective. Besides, it can be applied to both print and digital media, such as posters, logos, websites, and apps.

Below are some examples of graphic design that you should know:

What is UI Design?

What is UI Design

What is UI Design

UI design, also known as User Interface Design, on the other hand, is a discipline that deals with the interactivity of a digital product. It involves the design of user interfaces for websites, apps, software, and machines using interactive elements such as buttons, menus, icons, and lots more that users can see and interact with.

The ultimate goal of UI design in product development is to enhance the usability and functionality of the product, enabling users to achieve their goals seamlessly.

See some examples of websites with great UI design below:

Graphic vs UI Design: How They Intersect and Differ

There are lots of similarities and differences between Graphic design and UI design. The table below has covered what you should know:

Graphic Design UI Design

Deals with the design of visual elements to communicate a message or an idea about a digital product.


Deals with design interactions, including design of websites, apps, and software user interface.

Skill & Knowledge: 

  • Typography skill
  • Font selection
  • Design principles
  • Ability to follow brand guidelines
  • Basic HTML, CSS, and JS
Skill & Knowledge:

  • Principles of interaction design
  • Typography, branding, and color theory.
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • User research and personas
  • Ability to employ industry-standard tools for sketching.
  • Style guides

  • Trifold Brochures
  • Product package
  • Brand logo and design
  • Printed materials
  • Album cover

  • Restaurant Menu
  • Blog & online journal
  • App layout
  • Website landing page.
  • Email templates
  • Desktop background image

The Role of Graphic Design in User Interface Development

As surprising as this might sound, graphic design has certain roles it plays on user interface development. Some these roles include the following:

Visual Design

One of the roles of graphic design in UI development is creating visual designs that users would find attractive. This role involves selecting and combining colors, typography, imagery, and other design elements that communicate the identity of the brand, create a visual hierarchy, and guide the user’s attention in a way that’s very appealing.

Information Architecture

Graphics design is usually used to organize and structure information in UI development. For this role, the designer analyzes how content will be placed on a website, thus creating wireframes and prototypes, and designing navigation systems that are intuitive and user-friendly.

User Experience (UX) Design

Graphic design is used to create interfaces that are easy to use, efficient, and enjoyable. Plus, it facilitates the creation of user flows, user journeys, and personas that meet user needs and expectations.

Interaction Design

Graphics design can be used to make interactive UI elements like buttons, icons, backgrounds, and lots more, look more attractive. It makes these elements look more visually appealing, thus creating a sense of interactivity and engagement for the user.

Branding and Marketing

Graphic design is often used to create branding and marketing materials for a UI. This includes designing logos, creating promotional graphics, and designing landing pages that are optimized for conversions. These elements help to create a cohesive brand identity and to communicate the value proposition of a product or service.

Tools & Techniques Used in Both Graphic and UI Design

There are different tools and techniques that can be used in graphic and UI design. Read on to find out what they are.

The Techniques For Graphic & UI Design

Here are some helpful techniques you can stick to for graphics and UI design.

Keep It Simple:

This technique emphasizes the importance of simplicity in graphic and UI design. It involves using minimalism to reduce clutter and highlight key elements, making it easier for users to navigate and understand your design.

Use Colors Strategically:

It’s undeniable that colors can have a significant impact on how users perceive and interact with a design. For this reason, it’s crucial to use colors strategically. Ensure to select colors that complement each other and align with the brand or message while avoiding overuse or clashing colors that could confuse the user.

Keep Typography Under Control:

Typography in UI and graphics design deals with the style and arrangement of text. Keeping the typography of your design involves making the fonts readable, using appropriate font sizes and spacing, and ensuring that the text is easy to scan.

Create Consistency and Use Common Elements:

Consistency is essential for creating a coherent and user-friendly design. This technique involves using common elements such as color schemes, typography, and UI components across the design, which helps to establish a sense of familiarity and predictability for the user.

Consider Visual Hierarchy:

Visual hierarchy deals with the arrangement and prioritization of elements in a design. This involves using size, color, and placement to create a clear and intuitive visual hierarchy that guides the user’s attention to the important elements of the design.

Tools For Graphic & UI Design

The tools used in UI design and graphic design also differ. But to help you out, we’ve discussed some of the best tools you can use to step up your game as a graphic designer or UI designer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or a professional in the industry.

Tools For Graphic Design

The following are some helpful tools for graphic design that you should know:


Freepik Interface

Freepik Interface

Freepik is a resourceful website to find design elements for free. It offers millions of free and premium vector designs, illustrations, and photos for personal and commercial use. Plus, you can also find AI-generated images and templates that tick boxes around.

Key features:

Adobe Illustrator

Graphic Designer - Adobe Illustrator Interface

Graphic Designer – Adobe Illustrator Interface

Another helpful tool for graphic design is the Adobe Illustrator software. This is a vector graphics editor that allows you to create logos, icons, typography, and other vector-based designs within a few clicks. Thankfully, it has a simple user interface. So, you don’t need advanced knowledge to navigate your way around.

Key features:


Graphic Designer - PicsArt Interface

Graphic Designer – PicsArt Interface

If you use online photo editors regularly, you might have come across PicsArt. It’s a great tool that can come in handy for graphic designers to edit photos and create digital art using different efficient tools and effects.

Key features:

Further Reading: How to Screenshot Picsart >


Desygner Interface

Desygner Interface

Desygner is a web-based graphic design platform that boasts many customizable templates and design tools for creating social media graphics, marketing materials, and other designs. It allows you to create designs using [re-made templates, banners, and lots more without hassle. Besides, its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to navigate for all users.

Key features:

Tools For UI Design

Some of the best tools for UI design include the following:


UI Design Tools - Sketch

UI Design Tools – Sketch

If you’re looking for a UI design tool to create drawings, wireframes, prototypes, and lots more, Sketch is one of the best go-to options. This industry-standard vector graphics editor facilitates the creation of designs for user interfaces and user experiences (UI/UX) of websites and mobile apps.

Key features:

Adobe XD

Adobe XD Interface

Adobe XD Interface

Adobe XD is another vector-based design tool on the list. It’s a powerful UI design tool that can come in handy to perform different operations, including creating low-fidelity designs, impressive animations, and lots more. Also, Adobe XD supports integration with other Adobe software like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Key features:

UX Pin

UI Design Tools - UXPin

UI Design Tools – UXPin

UX Pin is a web-based design and prototyping tool that allows designers to create user interfaces and user experiences (UI/UX) for websites and mobile apps.

Key features:


Top Wireframe Tool - Figma

Top Wireframe Tool – Figma

Last but not least UI design tool we’d recommend is Figm. This is a cloud-based design tool that facilitates quick and easy design and prototyping operations. It provides you with an all-in-one powerhouse where you can explore all you need to create designs that tick boxes around.

Key features:

Final Words

Graphics design and UI design are undeniably important aspects of design. But unfortunately, many folks confuse them for one another. The graphic design vs. UI design comparison discussed above has covered everything you need to know about both disciplines, from their definition to their differences and lots more. Just make sure to read the post to the end to understand all that we’ve discussed.


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