Graphic Designer Vs Animator

Graphic designers and animators use creativity in their occupations, though much of the work they do is done for different purposes. Learn more about how these two occupations compare.

Comparing Graphic Designers to Animators

Graphic designers and animators both work in a creative field that involves developing designs primarily using a computer. While graphic designers create designs used in advertising for clients, animators create designs and animations that are used to entertain audiences. Here you can learn more about some of the similarities and differences for each of these artistic, computer-heavy career options.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016) Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Graphic Designer Bachelor's Degree $47,640 1%
Animator (Multimedia Artists and Animators) Bachelor's Degree $65,300 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Graphic Designers vs Animators

Graphic designers and animators are both responsible for working with clients to develop creative ways to inform and entertain an audience. Graphic designers meet with clients to produce logos or advertisements that can be found in brochures and magazines. Though animators also create using computer software, they develop animations that are used in different media forms including movies, video games, and television. While both of these career options require extensive creativity in designing, what they produce is very different and is used in different ways. Graphic designers create to influence others to support or buy, while animators typically create animations to inform or entertain an audience.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers create the layout that will be used to present a client's product to ensure it is marketed well and expresses what they are selling. They need good computer skills to be able to communicate the ideas expressed by the client into art form. They need to be creative with their designs to interest a variety of customers. The designs must be appealing and show what the organization is trying to convey. Typically, graphic designers work in an office or studio to have the space needed to create their designs. While some projects are done individually, others include collaboration with other designers.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Interpreting a client's expectations and needs
  • Presenting designs to clients
  • Checking designs for errors before publishing
  • Keeping up to date with new technology


Animators are responsible for creating animation that can be used in movies, video games, and other media based on a client's vision. Animators create storyboards to help them envision what the animation needs to look like. They must have excellent computer skills to create the animation from illustrations that they design. Animators must have exceptional artistic abilities and an understanding of different forms of art to develop a product suitable for clients and audiences.

Job responsibilities of an animator include:

  • Creating animations by an expected deadline
  • Editing animations based on feedback
  • Working as part of a team
  • Using original ideas to tell stories

Related Careers

Graphic designers are similar to desktop publishers, who also work with different layouts that are presented in newspapers and magazines. Those looking at a career in animation may also be interested in web development, as much of their work is done on a computer; they create and maintain websites while paying close attention to the design of the site.

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