(707) 745-3738

Creative and Graphic Design

Creative Concepts vs Graphic Design

The terms “creative” and “graphic design” are occasionally used interchangeably—but mean very different things. Distinguishing which is which, and what you really need can save you time, money, and great frustration.

In the industry, “creative” refers to the original, imaginative, inventive, inspired development of something with artistic elements. It’s part visionary, part problem solver.

The creative process is all about coming up with a result that is totally new, or taking something established and reinventing it in a new way. It involves taking an idea and imagining a visual solution. This is beyond a technical knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign; it’s an internal ability to come up with new and inventive ways to communicate an idea. Creating a visual image of the solution is a separate part of the process.

Graphic design is the physical process of building or modifying something visual. It is something that requires great skill to do well and even greater skill to do quickly.

The graphic design process is the producing of the image or composition. This is where the software, keyboard, and mouse are used as construction tools. And though it may not sound glamorous, it takes a lot of time and dedication to become good at it.

Be mindful of what is needed to accomplish a project. Some need only graphic design work done; these projects can be a little less expensive and require less time because the work has more to do with modifying than inventing. But a project that requires original creative work calls for something more substantial; this naturally takes more time (for research, thought and attempts) and can yield more impressive results.

Creative and graphic design are complementary, but knowing what you need will make your pricing and timing expectations realistic.