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Graphic design helps us communicate messages and ideas, persuade people to take action, and make the world a more beautiful place. We can break down the world of graphic design into two categories: print design and digital design. As the names suggest, print design is any design where the final form is intended to be in physical form, and digital design is any presentation or design that’s developed for use on digital platforms. They each have their own unique challenges and distinctions that only an experienced graphic designer could plan for. At Inner Spark Creative , we have an extensive amount of expertise in the graphic design industry. Explore our guide to print and digital design where we explain the power and importance of graphic design.

Common Types of Print Design

Before the birth of the internet, almost every aspect of graphic design was exclusively focused on print design. Although things might be different today, print media is more relevant than ever in the digital era. Print design work is meant for publication in a physical form.

Common forms of print design include, but are not limited to:

  • Labels
  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Logo development
  • Book covers
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Corporate reports
  • Magazine layouts & spreads
  • Letterheads
  • Direct mail
  • T-shirts

Common Types of Digital Design

If you’re reading this in the afternoon, you’ve probably already viewed 2,000 digital ads today. You’ll encounter an additional 3,000 before days end. Those are just some examples of digital design, which are designs meant to be viewed on a computer, tablet, or smart device.

Common digital designs include, but are not limited to:

  • Infographics
  • Website elements
  • Landing pages
  • App design
  • Social media content
  • Banner adverts
  • Animated graphics
  • Video ads

Distinctions Between Print and Digital Design

Print design and digital design each offer their own marketing benefits. In today’s tech-driven world, most print design work is created on a digital device, but that’s about where the similarities end.

User Experience

It’s a very different experience to view a design on a screen and hold a magazine in your hands. A print design might have tactile texture or embossing to improve user experience, while a digital design might include audio or video elements. How people engage with print and digital design is one of the most significant differences between these mediums and plays a big role in the decisions graphic designers make.


Unlike print, digital designs are created to change and can be completely redesigned at any time. While all information on print designs must be presented within the parameters of the printing surface, there’s much more flexibility for digital design.

Digital designs may require more upkeep to ensure things always work as expected for customers. The ability for content to adapt and be compatible with any device, known as responsive design, is increasingly important as browsing habits shift in a mobile direction.


The growth of digital design has opened the doors wider for accessibility tools. Digital accessibility is the practice of building digital content and applications that can be used by a wide range of people, including individuals who have visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities. Those viewing digital designs have access to screen readers, closed captions, alternative navigation, and magnification software.


Digital design is very targetable and it’s much easier to track the impressions it receives. Analytics of interactions and demographics allows graphic designers to adapt their designs to what customers respond to.

While digital design is viewed and understood faster, print design retains viewership longer. According to a study by the U.S. Postal Service and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making, people have a better recollection of information from print ads and even have a stronger emotional reaction to it.

Should Your Business Use Print or Digital Design?

Choosing one or the other would be doing yourself a disservice. While print design is more tangible and memorable, digital design is more targetable and flexible. Experts suggest that a combination of print and digital channels is the most effective way to keep customers engaged and drive results. Working with a graphic designer who is skilled in both mediums will have your business reaping the benefits, both offline and online.

How We Can Help

At Inner Spark Creative, we excel in all forms of graphic design. Our graphic designers can help you establish your brand at any scale; from the design of a logo to a state-wide, multi-platform marketing campaign. As Auburn, Alabama ’s most reliable advertising agency, we work closely with production suppliers to give you quality collateral that meets your needs and timelines. Contact us today to learn how our team of experts can boost your business!

About the Author...
Inner Spark Creative Interns
Inner Spark Creative Interns
Inner Spark Creative is proud to foster the next generation of digital media experts through our comprehensive internship program. Our interns, primarily sourced from Auburn University, bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our projects. As part of their hands-on learning experience, they contribute valuable content to our platform, demonstrating the skills and knowledge they've acquired. Inner Spark Creative is committed to contributing to the education and professional development of our interns, preparing them for successful careers in digital media and beyond.

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