profession August 30, 2019

Types of designers: 15 professions in the Design world

Lately, people seem to come up with creative names for their profession. I’m not sure if it’s due to boredom or it just feels right, but LinkedIn has been flooded with gurus and specialists of all fields.
Particularly, when it comes to types of designers, it seems that design companies are the most creative in the field of making up job roles.

Some of my favorites are the rock stars, the ninjas, and the evangelists. It just feels right, you know? Along with the unicorns and other mythical creatures.

How do you present yourself as a designer to someone who doesn’t know what a designer does?
And how do you clarify what you do in simple words?

Today’s post is about answering these questions. Let’s try to break down some of the most common design areas, and simply explain them.

Types of designers on the Graphic spectrum:

Graphic/ Communication designer

Starting of this types of designers post, we have the graphic designer, aka the communication designer. Conveying messages throw visual elements. This is the purpose of a graphic/communication designer.
When it comes to outputs, there’s a lot of things that can fit in this profession such as posters, brochures, and flyers.

Visual Identity designer

This professional is a specialized graphic designer. 
It’s someone that focuses their career on solely developing cohesive brands for companies.
From strategy, up to choosing the color palette, designing the logo, and creating a full identity system, these designers have a lot of responsibility on their hands.

Editorial designer

Like the previous one, this is a specialization. 
Typically, an editorial professional is someone that designs books, magazines or both, that can be both for printing and digital purposes.

Social Media designer

It’s the most recent profession, and quite frankly, a highly debatable one.
What does it mean to be specialized in social media? Do we need someone who only designs posts for these platforms?
I think not, but it’s a reality in many design agencies and companies.

Marketing and Advertising designer

Oldy but goldy.
The advertising industry always required some visual element to appeal to consumers, so designers are a precious resource in this area.
Mupis, ads and, recently, social media, are some of the mediums to get people to buy products.

Typography designer

This is another very specific role inside the graphic spectrum, and possibly, one of the hardest. 
Designing typography can be time-consuming, and nerve-racking if you aren’t passionate about it. However, if you do it properly, it can immortalize your work. Just think of Max Miedinger.

Types of designers on the Interactive side:

Firstly, I don’t agree with the term interactive design, because I believe that design is, in itself, interactive. It conveys messages and meanings, therefore, all forms of design are interactive.
However, since I noticed it’s a common reference, I also decided to use it in this post.
The term interactive is used to refer to areas of design where the user acts directly upon a design’s outcome, using an interface. Such as clicking a button, watching a video or subscribing to a newsletter.

Instructional designer

I started my career as an instructional designer, specifically as an e-learning course designer.
These types of designers are usually the ones that design courses, workshops, and different forms of learning materials.

Web designer

These are some of the most requested professionals in the design industry.
Usually, a web designer will not only take care of the visual side of a web page but also, knows how to code it.

User Interface designer

Ideally, a user interface designer will be the same person in charge of the user experience, but not always. This professional is in charge of designing interfaces for apps, and digital products.

User Experience designer

This guy is not a magician, no matter how much the company likes to call him that. There’s no room for guessing or supposing things.
His or her job is to research and found every possible detail about the ideal user to create the best possible experience.
And test a lot before anything is considered the final ideal experience.

Motion designer

These are the guys that get to play a lot. Or so I like to think.
Motion is the type of design that allows for the most experimentation. There are different techniques, different trends, and a lot of inspiration to pull from.
Commercials, music videos, and GIFs are only some of the things that motion designers produce.

Lastly, types of designers of physical products:

Environmental designer

We are all concerned about the future of our planet, so we try our best to minimize our impact. Environmental designers take this concern and make it a reality.
They are the masterminds that experiment with eco-friendly materials and come up with alternative solutions for our everyday needs.
These specialists are in charge of creating commercial and personal buildings with a less pollutant effect on the planet.

Industrial/Product designer

Industrial, also called product designers, are in charge of devising physical products.
Our phone, appliances, and pretty much all of our devices are thought off by industrial designers.

Note: Sometimes, there’s a little confusion with the term product designer, since apps are also called digital products. 

I’ve seen companies claiming that they have in-house product designers, meaning that that have UX/UI, and web designers. 
So I just wanted to clarify the possible double meaning of this role.

Other than these two types, there are also interior designers, who are responsible for designing spaces, and fashion designers, that can design haute couture, ready-to-wear, or high fashion clothes.


There are many more types of designers, and probably, there will be a lot more in the future, depending on whether people are feeling more or less creative that day. 
The above list, however, is my way to explain what each professional does, trying not to use too much design jargon.
Lastly, check out Tobias van Schneider post, that led me to want to write this one. 

About Melted

Melted was born in 2017. 
Back then, I was facing some hard time regarding my profession (or lack of), but I wanted to push forward and inspire others to do the same.
So I put my fears aside, and several huge cups of coffee later, this project was online.

Read the full story

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