A graphic designer and a book illustrator are both trained to utilize artwork in a certain way for those paying them. A graphic designer tends to handle digital images so that they can meet the needs of their employers or clients. In most cases, these are the people involved with magazines, advertising, and websites. Quite often, they can work with private offices or studios. 

On the other hand, illustrators usually focus on what they can draw instead of putting together text and images, like a graphic designer does. For example, children’s book illustrator jobs can require a person to work from home or work for companies. In this article, you will learn about the differences between illustrators and graphic designers. 

The difference between illustrators and graphic designers 

A graphic designer usually uses design software while an illustrator draws using their hands. The significant differences between these two professionals are that a graphic designer and an illustrator have a specific purpose in their work and the tools they utilize for their work. 

It’s worth noting that visual arts are a crucial resource for businesses attempting to advertise to their audience. Both illustrators and graphic designers can help to create images that inform and attract consumers. 

When it comes to graphic designers, are usually visual media experts who can create a unified style that the audience can identify with a business, product or service, campaign, and place. A graphic designer can also perform some artwork by hand, though they often utilize specialized software programs to combine text, images, and other visual elements to form a series of graphics.

Graphic designer assists their customers to tell stories, communicating values, and increasing public interest. They can be freelancers, work for a specific company, or even work in a dedicated graphic design company. 

There are various common uses of graphic design. This includes developing the most crucial design elements of brands, such as fonts, logos, associated images, and color palettes. After establishing the look of the brand, they can help a company apply the look to associated advertising and products.

Companies that produce several products usually need different design styles for their goods to create distinct product identities. A graphic designer can create visuals utilized in packaging, promotional materials, and commercials. 

A graphic designer can also create visual languages to assist the audience to understand where they are. Transit systems, parks, and geographic regions utilize graphic design to communicate with people.

Lastly, a graphic designer can organize the visuals for any campaign so that they can engage the audience. This can sometimes be a political campaign for a candidate or a local theater that desires to advertise a series of performances. 

On the other hand, an illustrator is simply a visual artist who utilizes media to explain or represent ideas and texts. An illustrator can offer clients a single piece of artwork or even they can create several images in a specific style. Individuals and companies hire illustrators to provoke, entertain, or communicate with audiences.

There are also various uses of the illustrator’s work. This includes illustrations that can help sell a function or product. For example, a clothing business can decide to hire an illustrator to do images for its label, or it can hire them to create an illustration on a t-shirt.

Some companies also depend on illustrations to improve their brand. Clothing companies, magazines, household brands, and media companies need the skills of an illustrator for their marketing activities.

Some illustrators can also create artwork that people purchase as standalone pieces. Also, an illustrator can offer entertaining illustrations to accompany the test in publications. They can also offer informative images to help the audience understand concepts or follow instructions. 

The duties of a graphic designer and an illustrator

As explained earlier, the main difference between an illustrator and a graphic designer is the purpose of their work. A graphic designer communicates on behalf of their clients. Their individual opinions, identity, and beliefs are often not relevant. They want to offer information quickly using their visuals that represent the client. An illustrator can have a similar intention in their work, but usually people hire an illustrator for their unique styles and ideas. A client can benefit by associating themselves with the meaning of the illustration or message.

There are some common duties for a graphic designer. This includes client consultation and conceptualization. You should remember that a graphic designer can collect information from a customer so that they can do the design elements. They can also start by listening to a customer’s needs and combining style elements they believe meet them. A graphic designer can propose several concepts and then develop what a customer wants. 

Aside from these, a graphic designer can also do font design and graphic design. They usually design their fonts to improve a customer’s message. Once the customer approves their visual style, a graphic designer can create the graphics that may be utilized across platforms. This can mean creating brochures, posters, advertisements, or web pages. 

An illustrator, their role usually includes project consultation and contract negotiation. An illustrator can meet with an editor, graphic designer, marketer, and other clients who can explain how they want to utilize the artist’s work. You should note that an illustrator often enters a relationship with companies or publishers for several works that can take a specific period. Therefore, they negotiate payments, project details, and timelines.

Above all, an illustrator can do research and sketch production. This means that they conduct research to make accurate, critical, and informative artwork. For example, an illustration that involves a historical publication may need research so that an illustrator can recreate a period’s style and also make political commentary. Final illustrations may need a lot of work and time. An illustrator usually offers a customer sketches for approval before they create the final version.

In conclusion, graphic design is considered more commercial focused and illustration is more art-oriented. The tools and job functions of a graphic designer and an illustrator are often what difference between these two professionals.

Founder, editor, and contributor at Technosoups. Shubham has been a gadget freak since longer than he cares to admit and loves everything to do with technology. He loves to address tech issues​es and write tech how-to's in a way that it can be followed by everyone.