BY Benjamin

June 2, 2021

The English language is so broad and varied that any non-native speaker would have difficulty learning it. English is, understandably, confusing—some words sound the same but have different meanings, some have similar spellings but different definitions and pronunciation. Meanwhile, others have entirely different spellings but have one meaning!

Dinner and supper, car and vehicle, centre and middle—these pairs of words have no significant connection with each other except for their one similarity: they are all interchangeable. Synonyms have been an essential part of the English language, as it helps improve one’s oral and writing skills. 

We have thousands upon thousands of synonyms in the dictionary to choose from; you will never run out of words to use in your sentences. Although the English language has an abundance of synonyms, it’s important to note that “graphic designer” and “graphic artist” isn’t one of them!


Design is art, and art is design. While this remains true, it doesn’t mean that designers and artists are the same. Not all designers are artists, and not all artists can be designers—asking for graphic design services from a graphic artist just wouldn’t make sense!

Some people may be graphic designers and graphic artists simultaneously, but this doesn’t change the fact that these two terms aren’t interchangeable

To further understand how these professions are different, let us break down the objectives and tasks involved with being a graphic designer and a graphic artist:

What Is a Graphic Artist?

Graphic artists are responsible for using their imagination and creative skills to create imagery that facilitates an idea or story. Unlike Van Gogh, Picasso, or other artists you may be familiar with, graphic artists use their digital canvas to make art, but they do use some sort of traditional artistry.

The visuals created by a graphic artist can be used as a platform for a story, but it can also involve no logic. There is no limit to what a graphic artist can do—their works can be varied and used in different mediums, and they have the freedom to break or bend standard design principles when needed! 

A graphic artist aims to connect to others. Through their art, they must be able to entertain, touch, or relate to the audience.

A graphic artist’s portfolio could include:

  • Illustrations;
  • Cartoons;
  • Movie Illustrations;
  • Graphic Novels; and
  • Comic Books.

What Is a Graphic Designer?

On the other hand, a graphic designer creates designs that capture a client’s message and urge the target audience to interact with it. Their work must be able to get the viewer to purchase, click, scroll, or read. Designers must present a visual solution to communication problems, backed by logic and the science of art.

Unlike graphic artists who have the freedom to break and bend the rules, graphic designers rely on design principles in creating their works to resonate with a specific demographic. Every creation is based on calculations—the fonts, styles, and colours used in their compositions must drive engagements and achieve results.

Graphic designers usually produce work like:

  • Logo design;
  • Marketing collateral;
  • Infographics;
  • Web design; and
  • Instructional design.


These two professions are equally important, but they are far from being the same. Graphic designers and graphic artists may rely on visuals to execute their work, work in digital and print, and have the word “graphic” in their name, but that’s where their similarities end. Although different from each other, both can create dynamic work that will serve their purpose.

Are you looking for affordable graphic design services in Australia? Leave it to our team at 55 KNOTS to bring your vision to life! Our friendly and highly experienced designers specialise in digital campaigns, brand elevation, and captivating motion graphics. Start your 7-day free trial today!


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Captain of ships and commander to a crew of designers. Benjamin Williams is a creative director with over 20 years of experience working with the world’s largest brands.