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Multimedia Designer vs. Graphic Designer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in design can be both creative and rewarding. If you’re interested in working in this field, you may be wondering whether you should pursue a career as a multimedia designer or a graphic designer. Both of these positions require creativity and technical skills, but there are several key differences between them. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between multimedia designers and graphic designers, and we provide helpful tips for choosing a career in design.

What is a Multimedia Designer?

Multimedia Designers use a combination of text, audio, video, graphics and animation to create interactive multimedia products. They work in a variety of industries, including advertising, education, gaming, and web design. Multimedia Designers typically have a bachelor’s degree in multimedia design, graphic design, or a related field. They use their creativity and technical skills to design engaging and user-friendly multimedia products. Multimedia Designers typically work in an office setting, but some may work remotely.

What is a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designers use text, images, color and layout to create visual solutions to communication problems. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Graphic Designers work with both text and images to create visually appealing designs that convey a specific message or achieve a specific goal. They use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects. Graphic Designers must be able to think creatively to produce new ideas and concepts. They must also have strong communication skills to be able to explain their ideas to clients and team members.

Multimedia Designer vs. Graphic Designer

Here are the main differences between a multimedia designer and a graphic designer.

Job Duties

One of the clearest differences between multimedia designers and graphic designers is the type of duties they have. While both types of designers are responsible for creating visual content, they focus on different elements to do so. Multimedia designers create visuals that incorporate sound, video and animation. As a result, their job duties often include recording audio, filming footage and creating animated images.

In contrast, graphic designers create visual content that’s focused on imagery alone. These designers may use tools like Adobe Photoshop to edit photos or Adobe Illustrator to create original illustrations. Both multimedia and graphic designers may perform other tasks related to design, such as web design, branding or typography.

Job Requirements

Multimedia designers and graphic designers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Some designers also pursue master’s degrees, which can help them stand out to employers and land more advanced positions. During their studies, designers take classes on topics like color theory, typography and layout. Many programs also require designers to complete internships so they can gain real-world experience before entering the workforce.

Some designers also choose to earn professional certifications to improve their job prospects. The Graphic Artists Guild offers a Certified Professional Designer (CPD) credential for designers who want to show that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field. To earn this credential, designers must pass an exam and submit a portfolio of their work.

Work Environment

Multimedia designers often work in an office setting, but they may also travel to different locations for filming or recording. They may spend a lot of time on set during the production process and collaborate with other crew members to ensure that their projects are successful.

Graphic designers usually work in an office environment, where they can use computers and other equipment to create visual designs. Some graphic designers freelance and work from home, while others work full-time for companies as employees.


Both multimedia designers and graphic designers use creativity and artistic skills in their jobs. They also both need to have an understanding of color, typography and layout principles. However, multimedia designers often use animation and video editing software to create their designs, while graphic designers typically use vector-based design software, like Adobe Illustrator.

Multimedia designers may also need to have programming skills to create interactive elements, like games or simulations. Graphic designers usually do not need to know how to code. However, both professionals can benefit from having some web development skills, like HTML and CSS, as they may be responsible for creating designs for websites or digital marketing campaigns.


Multimedia designers earn an average salary of $68,072 per year, while graphic designers earn an average salary of $57,060 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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