Digital Design: What It Is and What to Know About It

Digital design is truly all around us, and it has become a common mode of communication and advertising that we all understand. We are naturally drawn to things that are visually appealing or compelling. For this reason, digital design has naturally converged with other businesses ' needs for eye-catching designs that can get their message across to their desired audiences. So what exactly is digital design?

What is digital design?

Digital design is the combination of design elements such as graphics, illustration, color, perspective, and typography to create a design that communicates a message or idea visually.

Digital design is everywhere: from product packaging to magazine ads, brand logos, billboards, flyers, TV ads, posters, and more. Online ads are another highly common place to see digital design at work, as well as on social media with branded social posts, video thumbnails, and account banners.

Marketing and advertising often go hand-in-hand with digital design, because it has such a unique and powerful way of attracting people's attention through aesthetically pleasing designs and communicating a message that can be understood with a quick glance. This is not the only use for digital design, however. Product packaging and clothing are two more popular places we see digital design in our day-to-day.

What these all have in common is that they share a need for an eye-catching design to grab people's attention, communicate a message, and encourage an action to take place. Good digital design is so important because it helps brands entice more people to see their products or ads and choose theirs over the competition.

Can you think of a time when you chose to buy an item with a sleek and professional-looking package over a generic one? Or how about a graphic tee that you purchased because you like the design on the front? Maybe you were on your favorite social media app today and paused your scrolling because a well-designed post caught your eye. These are all great examples of digital design at work in our lives every day and how it can catch our attention to deliver a message or sway our opinions about a product.

The basics of digital design

So how does digital design work? Digital design uses some key design principles as a framework for how design elements can be used in the most aesthetically pleasing way or to subliminally encourage a viewer to feel a certain way when viewing the design. For example, the use of certain colors and fluid versus bold, angled strokes can give a design a very different tone, and therefore elicit different emotions based on the way the elements are used in the design.

Digital designers will study color theory to understand the ins and outs of how colors can make the viewer feel, as well as which colors work well to complement or contrast with each other, and which ones clash and should not be used in the same design. Other elements that designers will master include the use of alignment, repetition, proximity, balance, hierarchy, space, and contrast. Using these key design principles effectively can optimize the effects of a finished design.

The creative skill and talent involved in digital design are accomplished through design software on either a computer or tablet. There are many options available for different software programs and apps that designers can use to create their illustrations, edit images, design typography, and more. Some popular digital design programs include the Adobe Suite, Affinity Designer, and CorelDRAW.


Digital design plays an important role in the way people and businesses communicate and get their messages across to the masses. As a uniquely creative and efficient skill, digital design serves as a highly effective method of visual communication that we see all around us today.

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