BY Benjamin

April 19, 2021

The most successful businesses in the world understand the importance of design. It’s the best mode of communication, one that helps a brand stand out in a sea of competitors. It also helps a business build a unique presence, which enables customers and prospects to retain them as top contenders. 

It’s the reason why we recognize the swoosh checks, a bitten apple, and even the big yellow M. These designs trigger memories and evoke emotions, all of which enable brands to secure the spot of the most trusted and credible. Coming up with your unique designs can be a straightforward process, but there’s a crucial fact you need to know—graphic designs and illustrations are vastly different. 

Although both critical visual communicators, they involve specific tools and techniques. They’re also used for different purposes, which is a mistake new and small brands often make. As a result, it can be difficult to come up with innovative designs and resounding messages, even with a clear idea in mind. 

For these reasons, it’s important to define the line between graphic design and illustration, as this can affect your business brand’s bottom line. Never put your creativity at risk: 


Visual elements and communication

Graphic design essentially pertains to the art and skill of creating new ideas, translating them into visual elements that convey powerful messages. This could encompass photographs, text, words, graphics, and illustrations, all mixed to create impactful visual art. 

Graphic design also involves creating art with a purpose, with carefully structured images and elements used to properly convey feelings, emotions, and thoughts. For these reasons, they mostly go hand-in-hand with marketing and advertising, used to increase brand awareness, recognition, and retention. 

What can be produced using graphic design?

  • Posters and flyers
  • Business cards
  • Packaging design
  • Email marketing
  • Website design
  • Billboard designs
  • Guerilla advertising materials


Visual presentation


Although illustration also makes use of similar skill sets, it pertains mostly to a visual representation of an idea or concept. Illustrations are essentially used to provide audiences with visual features, all of which are woven together to decorate an idea or explain a message. 

It can be a part of a brand design’s overall layout, making it fall under graphic design’s territory. However, keep in mind that illustration can stand independently without words. For these reasons, illustrations are used for commercial purposes, particularly when it comes to creating elements to support product packages, magazine articles, advertising campaigns, and so much more.

What can be produced using illustration?


  • Magazine articles
  • Book illustrations
  • Comic books
  • Supporting elements
  • Graphic novels
  • Poster designs
  • Infographics


The world of art can be daunting to dive into, especially since imagination and creativity are a must. Thinking outside the box is merely a daily routine, and rightfully so—it’s fierce competition out there. Only the bold and the brave can make it big in the world of design, which is why brands scramble to get creative.

Simply put, graphic design and illustration play a critical role in advertising, marketing, and branding. They’re essential tools to the brand-building process, which is why it’s important to strengthen the foundation. Learning about their differences is a good starting point, and from there, you’ll be off to create a brand image that resonates across industries. 

If you’re ready to plunge into the world of art, allow 55 KNOTS to help. We offer you the best unlimited graphic design service in Australia, done and operated by a talented team of creative designers. Change how you see the world—book a demo 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.