Advertising with Graphic Design: How to Utilize Graphic Design in Marketing

Graphic design is a highly effective form of visual communication. It combines the use of artistic design elements such as color, contrast, spacing, and typography to catch the attention of a viewer and communicate a message or concept at a glance. Because it is such an efficient and visually appealing way to capture an audience's attention and deliver a message, graphic design is incredibly valuable in the industry of marketing and advertising.

The benefits of graphic design in advertising

Advertising and graphic design work together incredibly well. Graphic design is often the perfect vehicle for advertising messages because it has the capability of snagging viewers' attention through creative visuals and conveying a message quickly through expertly designed typography. Advertisers know that the success and positive ROI of their ad campaigns depend on a lot of different factors — from proper targeting and knowing your audience, to allocating well-strategized ad spend, another vital factor of a successful campaign is the quality of the ad itself. Ads can only be effective if the intended audience sees them, after all — so in conjunction with strategic advertising know-how and cleverly written ad copy, beautiful and eye-catching graphic design also plays a huge role.

For marketing purposes, a business can also take its branding to the next level with the help of graphic design. Everything from the brand's iconic logo to incorporating brand colors, typeface, and visuals — throughout assets like graphic email signatures, business cards, letterhead, banners and flyers for special events, brochures or product/service printables, and more — can all benefit from the use of graphic design. It can carry the visual side of a brand's consistent and recognizable traits to increase brand recognition and awareness.

What types of ads can graphic design be used for?

Graphic design can be utilized in a variety of different types of ads. All forms of advertising, including both digital and print ads, can benefit from the appealing visuals and creative messaging of graphic design.

Online ads

When it comes to digital ads that are meant to be viewed online, graphic design can be a vital component. Users browsing the internet or scrolling on social media have their attention pulled in many directions at once. The internet is a place that is often highly saturated with ads from businesses, all competing for viewers' attention. While advertisers use strategic targeting, ad placement, and more to boost the reach of their ads online, a well-designed ad is also more likely to be seen. Everything from banner ads to both organic and paid social media content can benefit from graphic design.

Print ads

Advertising to people out and about has many of the same challenges as digital ads, and the objective is still to capture people's attention and convey an enticing message quickly and effectively. The potential distractions a viewer might experience are quite different, however. Where online ads face the challenge of getting a viewer's attention while they are looking at a screen, print ads face the challenge of competing with all the things happening around the viewer out in the world. Print ads can include billboards meant to be seen from miles away, a banner or sign displayed at a busy event, or an ad spread in a newspaper or magazine. The need for bright and bold colors, stand-out typography, and an overall visually enticing design is vital for print ads.

Apparel and accessories

Whether it's at a branded event or fundraiser, or a business is using freebies to hand out to prospective customers, various types of apparel or accessories can be used as a form of advertising. Businesses might want to give away items such as pens, mugs, keychains, water bottles, t-shirts, and more that are stamped with their logo or a branded design to encourage customer loyalty and get their brand name out into the world in a clever way. Graphic design can be incredibly useful for designing these types of items to create an aesthetically appealing product.


Graphic design and advertising go hand-in-hand because of the highly effective way that design can grab someone's attention and convey a brand's message. No matter what form the ad takes or where it's being displayed, graphic design can truly enhance the ad and improve its results.

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