Graphic Designer Vs. Illustrator? Who Do You Need for Your Business

In this competitive marketing industry, you need creatives to make a visual and promote your brand to the public. There are a lot of websites you can find on the internet that you can use to create stunning designs. But hiring a graphic designer or illustrator is different because your business needs to stand out, and you need them to help you with that.

Seems tricky and confusing, right? Is an illustrator a graphic designer and vice versa? As the two seem to intertwine and overlap, you cannot probably decide who to get. 

But you will ask yourself, which one should I hire? Are you torn between the two?

In this article, we will look into the differences and similarities between a graphic designer vs. an illustrator. 

Graphic Designer vs. Illustrator

1. Their Tasks

A graphic designer is a visual artist who develops a unique style that people associate with a company or a product. Graphic designers assist their clients in telling stories, communicating values, and engaging the public. They could work as freelancers, for a specific corporation, or for a graphic design firm. 

Graphic designers are responsible for the branding of your company. They can create color schemes and brand kits for logos, infographics, brochures, product packaging, and other communication materials to convey your message visually. Graphic designers distinctly market your product. Usually, graphic designers formulate a graphic design and communicate it to the public. Someone may learn about your firm from a commercial, but if your branding isn’t apparent, you won’t be able to contact customers. An expert Graphic Designer, on the other hand, can ensure that your branding is consistent across all platforms and that every dollar spent on advertising is maximized.

An illustrator is in charge of making illustrations. A visual representation or illustration of written content is known as an illustration. They could be used to depict a concept, convey a story, or decorate. Both traditional and digital forms are available.

Illustrators create unique artwork for print and digital media. They interact with clients, editors, and marketers in this profession to ensure that you understand and sketch out their business needs to attract their target consumers. Illustrators can put concepts and ideas into visually engaging pictures. They produce illustrations that meet high-quality requirements while working under tight deadlines

2. Their Skills

Because branding is an essential component of graphic design—entire companies are dedicated solely to branding—it’s an invaluable ability for graphic designers to possess. A brand is a collection of concepts that a corporation or its products represent in people’s thoughts.

Designers should be able to grasp a company from the inside out, pinpoint what makes it unique, and bring a vision to reality through logos, colors, typography, artwork, photography, graphic components, and everything else that makes a brand unique.

A creative mindset is a crucial graphic design ability because it allows a designer to thrive at virtually every level of the design process, from brainstorming initial ideas to creating, producing, and improving concepts.

A graphic designer’s ability to communicate is equally crucial. Graphic design can be defined as an “effective visual expression of an idea or concept,” implying that communication is at the center of what a graphic designer accomplishes. To start drawing, you’ll need excellent communication skills.

Graphic designers must evaluate how specific design elements interact and how to convey the best meaning while keeping to design guidelines. Marketing research, brainstorming, generating ideas, and reviewing designs are part of this process.

An illustrator’s ability to sketch is essential. Illustrators have a good sense of colors because it is the foundation of art and design. Illustrators have the skills to create original art and has creativity. Basic digital program skills are also necessary. Illustrators have excellent communication and organizational skills to work with clients. 

Illustrators reflect personality in their art to make it unique. With a wide range of illustrations available on the internet, they have distinct styles that make art special from others.

3. The Tools They Use

Graphic Designers need tools for their work. Here are the following tools a graphic designer use:


A graphic designer needs a laptop or a desktop to run programs and applications. A computer can provide a good workflow, simple multitasking, and fast rendering with higher specs. Both desktops and laptops have advantages and disadvantages depending on the graphic designer on what wants to use. 

Background Remover Tool- Removal.AI

The most common photo manipulation technique in producing communication materials is background removal. Background removal activities in Adobe Photoshop are available, but it takes time as they are done manually. A graphic designer needs software that helps him easily remove unneeded and unwanted things and objects from photographs to make them more appealing. Graphic designers use to create stunning visuals as it can provide a transparent background in seconds with just one click.

Design Tool: Adobe Photoshop

Website layouts, booklets, posters, postcards, online posts, logo design, and much more can all be done with Photoshop. Graphic designers instantly recognize the software’s ability to create eye-catching, professional designs. Combining text and pictures to make an effect and express a clear brand message is one of the significant responsibilities of a graphic designer. Graphic designers mix and match images with text when choosing Photoshop as a base software. 

Design Inspirations: Dribbble/ Behance

Dribbble is a famous portfolio website for graphic designers. It allows artists to display their work while also providing prospective clients with information about the skills of possible hires. While showcasing their work, they can also get ideas from the work of their fellow designers. Behance is a website that allows web designers to show off their portfolios of visual work. According to an article by over 60 million people have visited Behance in search of inspiration in the last year, and 2.25 billion people have viewed work on the site.

On the other hand, here are the tools illustrators use to get their job done:


Many artists and designers now use a tablet and stylus as part of their creative process. Illustrators invest in a tablet as it will elevate your work. Lines and strokes appear much more natural when drawing using a tablet rather than a mouse. For digital drawing, a tablet works better than a trackpad.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector graphics software used by artists and graphic designers including vector-based graphics, icons, typography, logos, and other artwork. Adobe Illustrator is one of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps. It is widely used in designing, commercial branding, and marketing.

Procreate or Other Illustration Tools

Many illustrators use Procreate and prefer designing on the iPad and overdrawing on a tablet while gazing at a monitor. It’s a portable, complex tool that’s also easy to transport, making professional artists the favorite art apps. Procreate has all of the tools and capabilities you’ll need to produce digitally to create magnificent illustrations while emulating the feel of pens, pencils, and paint on paper.

Who Do You Need for Your Business?

1. If You Want to Develop a Brand: Graphic Designer

A graphic designer develops visuals and iconography that elicit immediate responses from the target audience. The visuals are, in truth, the designer’s creations, and they should inform the target audience about what to expect from the firm and why it is a better solution for their needs than the competitors.

Working with the marketing team, the graphic designer recognizes the importance of putting effort into the entire customer experience to promote brand loyalty. The ability to recognize and identify how customers perceive a brand can spur new efforts in developing a company’s culture and boost brand awareness.

2. If You Want to Tell a Great Brand Story: Illustrator

With more businesses fighting to share the market, it’s more important than ever for brands to make a lasting impression on potential customers and form genuine connections.

Many factors are taken into account when developing a brand. Your story image, the logo, brand colors, and typography is the combination of all of these elements that allows us to tell an authentic story about your company, allowing you to communicate with customers on a deeper level. Illustration can communicate a meaningful message to your audience – don’t doubt the capacity of using illustrators for your brand.

3. If You Want to Make Banners and Images for Website: Graphic Designer or Illustrator

Graphic designers and illustrators work hand in hand to create materials for your website. Both graphic designers and illustrators use images to produce visually appealing displays for their clients. Illustrators sketch or draw images, whereas graphic designers create a layout using computer software. Graphic designers typically use digital graphics for the website, mainly in marketing the products. Illustrators, on the other hand, focus on what they can design rather than stitching text and images as graphic designers usually do. 

4. If You Want to Design a Website: Graphic Designer

In today’s world, where everyone is online, you’ll need a web design that not only makes you stand out but also draws and motivates people to buy and a graphic designer can help you for that. As a business owner, you’ll need an e-commerce platform to offer your product line or services online effectively.

However, having an e-commerce platform is insufficient in today’s competitive market. It would be best if you recognized the importance of site design in achieving a competitive advantage. It your website design is to blame if you’re having trouble selling as much as you’d want. A graphic designer can assist you in organizing and structuring your web material.

5. If You Want to Visualize Your Ideas: Illustrator

An illustrator creates engaging and unique illustrations attracting attention. You should also keep the most significant information and present it in a way that is clear, accessible, and appealing. As a result, the customer will remember the products and websites that can provide you with all of these encounters. 

Furthermore, it would be even more effective if it stood out from the crowd. After all, readability does not imply clarity. A decent illustration can be a very valuable tool in marketing. Illustrations are a strong commercial tool that may make or break your company. Illustrations make a product, website, app, or publication it more eye-catching, appealing, and user-friendly. You need an illustrator to make your products aesthetic.

6. If You Want Illustrations for a Book: Illustrator

By definition, editorial design is a visually striking medium. The top magazines and books employ imagery in innovative ways to capture readers’ attention, tell stories, and maintain interest within a layout. illustrations work harder for you as they lead visuals for your design. An illustration is excellent for conveying abstract ideas and bringing personality, color, and expression into an editorial design.

Illustration can also bring a story to life when photography is unavailable or complex, as well as explore subjects and topics that photography may struggle with, such as fanciful or otherworldly environments, imaginary characters, and scenarios.

7. If You Want to Design Marketing Materials: Graphic Designer

Content marketing is becoming increasingly popular in advertising, with more companies depending on visuals and infographics to advertise their brands. If a developing brand wants to communicate important information to its target audience, it must use graphic designs. According to an article by the graphic zoo, our eyes acquire 90% of the information we receive, and our brains are wired to recognize an appealing visual in seconds. As a result, it’s challenging to overlook the value of graphic design in attracting your target market and driving sales through publicity materials.

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Businesses that want to reach out to the public should use the visual arts. Graphic designers and illustrators contribute to creating visuals that appeal to and educate consumers.

Graphic designers and illustrators are necessary if you want your customers to connect with your business. Creatives will provide you with many suggestions to help you achieve and maintain your company’s goals.

Considering the differences and similarities of the two careers and on how they can help your business. Hiring them is now high time if you don’t have one in your human resource. But the choice is all yours when you want to hire both, depending on your market needs.  

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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