Part 4: The Creative Family


Graphic Design studios are part of a larger family of creative organizations that serve businesses. But these days, there are so many different kinds of companies that do “some kind of creative stuff” for businesses that it can get really tricky trying to tell the difference between them. Here’s a bit of a run-through to help clear the air:

Advertising agency (or, marketing firm): These are folks who write, plan and commission advertising campaigns, usually with a strong focus on branding. Advertising and marketing is more about bigger-picture sales promotions. Typically, marketing firms have upwards of 100 employees, and have a reach that exceeds the local neighbourhood, preferring to focus on multinational ad campaigns. While most of these firms may have in-house Graphic Designers, the may also rely on outside Graphic Design studios or video production outfits to create the actual ads.

Web development company: These are technically-minded individuals who are well-versed in the programming languages of the web. They specialize in creating databases, writing code, and troubleshooting complicated stylesheets. A Graphic Designer is generally the one who creates the look, feel and flow of a website, but a web developer will make each link clickable and each page viewable.

Video production outfits specialize in filming and editing movies, whether it’s for television commercials, short films or feature length movies. Graphic Designers might help out with title screens, DVD menus or the final packaging, but for the most part, video production is quite separate from Graphic Design.

Copy editing organizations are skilled in editing and restructuring text so it’s clear, concise and correct. Their world is words, and that kind of expertise is vital to having correctly-spelled, grammatically-correct anything. Graphic Designers rely heavily on people with this skill.

Search engine optimization (SEO) companies are all about making sure your website somehow ends up on the first page of search results on Google, whether it deserves it or not. Graphic Designers have nothing to do with SEO companies, and neither should you.

Printing companies are the ones who operate the large-scale presses and digital printers that output the paper and packaged products that you end up seeing and touching. Graphic Designers are reliant on trustworthy printers to produce high-quality work in good time, and printers are used to working closely with picky designers who need to see proofs over and over again.

Graphic Designers: To find out what exactly Graphic Designers do, check out the “Introduction to Graphic Design.”

On with the Series: ERD 101
Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

This helpful article was brought to you by the knowledgeable people at Elbowroom Design, where better communication means better results.

  • GT

    great information. I added a site link from my site to yours. I was wondering if you could add to the creative family section:
    Animation and 3D designers as part of the creative family and it is part of our multimedia/graphics program we teach, and now the industry standard to have some knowlege.
    Thanks for your time