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Graphic Design

Differences Between Graphic Design and Advertising

By March 12, 2015August 27th, 2015No Comments
graphic design vs advertising

It is sometimes hard to differentiate between graphic design and advertising. Both trades specialise in managing visual communication for their clients. What separates the two disciplines is just a very fine line. Graphic design and advertising share many principles, theories and practices and this probably caused the confusion. The prime difference is probably how your work gets done. Graphic design and advertising firms work differently and can be differentiated by the following points:

difference graphic design

Graphic Design

Concepts are usually generated by a smaller creative team. Most of the time, the graphic designer works alone.
Design firms are usually hired by the project.
The end products are usually used for Below-The-Line (BTL) marketing where it is more personal. BTL marketing collaterals may include flyers, leaflets, postcards, brochures, posters, booklets, etc.

difference graphic advertising


Ultimate objective is the sale of client’s goods or services and the bottomline is to provoke an action from the target audience.
Concepts are usually generated by a larger creative team which consists of a creative director, art director, copywriter, illustrator and graphic designer.
Advertising firm usually manage client accounts.
The end products are usually used for Above-The-Line (ATL) marketing where mass media is used to promote brands and reach out to the target audience. ATL marketing medium includes radio, television, newspapers, etc.

So, Do I Hire a Design Firm or Advertising Firm?

The answer really depends your marketing objectives and budget. When budget is an issue, get involved in BTL marketing activities! BTL has better Return-Of-Investment (ROI) and can connect your brand to consumers. A design firm should be sufficient for your BTL marketing needs. When the concern is about reaching a wider audience, go for ATL marketing. Advertising firms would offer a more holistic service in engaging the audience for your brand. Both the design and advertising firms are capable of branding activities for your company.