Visual Design: What is Visual Design?

You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. People form a first impression within 50 milliseconds, and they will move on to the next option if your product/service doesn't look or feel appealing enough. This is where visual design and graphic design come into play. Here is a brief overview of what visual design entails, how it works, and its overall importance.

What is visual design

Visual design entails making a product/service visually appealing and easy to use. It is essentially a combination of user interface (UI) design and graphics design.

Visual design is important to both a product's manufacturer and its user. It is important for a product's manufacturer because it affects customers' purchasing decisions. To this end, a recent study by Consumer Reports shows that users focus more on how a product looks than on how it works when shopping.

Visual design is also important to a product's end-user because it determines how easy the product is to use. It saves users the time and effort it would take to learn about the product – it also eliminates the likelihood of damaging the product when trying to use it. Consequently, users can get the most off of the product.

Visual design is based on two important aspects: aesthetics and functionality.

Visual design from an aesthetics perspective

Most people will choose a good-looking product over a plain-looking one, even if both products match in functionality. Aesthetics entail a range of visual aspects, including shape, size, color, texture, and virtually every other visible element.

Visual design from a functionality perspective

Visual design is often referred to as visual communication design. The idea behind this concept, figuratively speaking, is to get the product's visual design speaks to the user with the goal of making the product easy to use.

For example, consider a new gadget with an entirely new design and function. By including a power button image, a visual designer would make it easy for a new user to switch on the device even if they have never used it before. That is what visual design entails from a functionality perspective.

Visual designer vs. graphic designer

Graphic design entails using visual and graphic elements such as imagery, color, and typography to communicate ideas. There is an almost negligible difference between the ultimate goals of visual and graphic design. Additionally, visual and graphic designers use many similar tools and techniques.

Some of the most notable differences between visual designers and graphic designers include:

Scope of focus

Graphics designers focus on a wide range of design formats and elements, including information, print, branding, advertising, and web design. In contrast, visual designers focus on a narrower range of formats and elements. Their focus is mostly limited to visual for digital elements such as apps and websites.


Graphics and visual designers share many tools and tactics, including Photoshop and illustrator. However, graphics designers mostly use InDesign, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Portal. Visual designers mostly use Sketch and Adobe XD.


Visual and graphics designers also share a range of skills. However, visual designers are especially good at digital design. Consequently, they are proficient with design software and general principles of design. On the other hand, graphics designers are especially good at online and offline design. They are also proficient with design software and the overall principles of design.


Visual design and graphics design share many similarities, but they are also different on a fundamental level. Visual design is important to a product's visual appeal and functionality, while graphics design is important to a product's overall design.

Would you like to learn more about visual and graphic design? We would be happy to teach you all about it here at CorelDraw. Get in touch today for more information.

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