The Intersection of Graphic Design and Augmented Reality (AR)

Graphic design and augmented reality (AR) blend fascinatingly to change our perception of how we interact with content. Classically limited to print and Web media, graphic design is branching out in the expanding spectrum through AR, an innovation that superimposes computer-made graphics in an actual environment.

When the creative platforms intersect, they form stimulating and engaging experiences that capture the audience’s attention in a completely new way. The process of how graphic designing and AR are converging, along with the possibilities, advantages, and disadvantages, are discussed in this article.

1. The Evolution of Graphic Design

“Graphic design has grown over the years from just concerning printed materials to the current hi-tech and sophisticated devices. Many designers have learned to work creatively with new tools and technologies and extended their disciplinary scope. The change from graphics and solid images to kinetic and movement-based experiences is a giant leap in this process,” says Holly Cooper, Marketing Manager at LUCAS PRODUCTS & SERVICES. Thus, with the increasing use of AR, graphic designers are looking for new opportunities to address this approach to open windows for enhanced interaction.

This evolution started with computer software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to produce and modify visuals. The introduction of computer technology altered logo design. Then, the Internet introduced web design, and designers had to bow to interactive and user-centric thinking. Now, with the help of AR, graphic design is moving forward to a new level that is very active and allows for the implementation of digital components into the physical space, but it is relatively passive.

2. Understanding Augmented Reality

“Augmented Reality is a technology that uses smartphones, tablets, and AR glasses to imprint computer-generated content on the physical world. While Virtual Reality (VR) provides an artificial environment, Augmented Reality (AR) adds computer information to the natural physical environment. It has been applied in several products and services in computer games, entertainment and education, advertising, and others. AR overlays digital information on tangible physical objects through sensors and algorithms that identify their position,” says Mark McShane, Digital PR Agency Owner of Cupid PR. This can be text, images, 3D models, and any kind of animation that can be represented in a digital environment. Mobile AR anomalies like Pokémon GO and Snapchat filters have brought the idea of prevalence to a logical use.

3. How AR Enhances Graphic Design

Augmented Reality (AR) uplifts graphic design by offering users unique opportunities not provided by standard methods. A designer is capable of producing graphics that can be live with the user and make the experience more dynamic. For instance, when touched, AR can enhance a simple poster into animated media, including icons, videos, and links. This holds the audience’s attention and gives further information and interest. Thus, with the help of augmented reality, designers are free to imagine designs beyond the boundary of flat screen and printed pages,” says Ben Flynn, Manager at Homefield IT. They can design things that transform according to the user and the context in which they are being used. This might turn the marketing campaigns to be more helpful, the educational materials to be more fun, and the entertainment materials to serve as winners.

4. Applications of AR in Graphic Design

Below are some of the specific uses of AR in graphic design. “In marketing, it can produce advertisements far from typical by enabling people to use an item physically. For example, furniture companies can employ AR to let customers know how a particular piece of furniture will look in their house. AR adds value to educational processes, such as 3D models and interactive diagrams of textbooks in the classroom. AR can enhance entertainment by applying interactive elements to movies and video games. All these applications show the essence of AR in redesigning how consumers engage with visual content. In retail, implementing AR can enhance performance because it gives the customers an impression of how the clothes feel without actually putting them on,” says Tim Parker, Director at Syntax Integration. AR can be used in architecture and real estate to effectively preload a project onto the client’s environment so that they can have a clear view of what will be delivered at the end of the project.

5. Tools and Technologies for AR Graphic Design

There are many tools/technologies for graphic designers planning to integrate AR into their design works. In the market, “designers can use software to create AR experiences, including Adobe Aero, Unity, and Vuforia. Such platforms range from AR overlays in which an object or environment mainly receives digital content to interactive environments where an object or environment actively participates in an activity. Therefore, as more tools of this nature are developed and the technology advances, more designers can play around with and implement AR technology into their pieces; programs like Adobe Aero, for instance, do not require any coding experience whatsoever to generate Augmented Reality experiences, this means that traditional graphic designers can start implementing AR into their work,” says Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Joy Organics. A game engine called Unity supports the creation of complex and engaging AR environments due to its features. Vuforia has superior image recognition operations and helps designers develop augmented reality to recognize natural objects.

6. Challenges in Integrating AR with Graphic Design

However, as pointed out earlier, there are challenges when integrating AR into graphic design. “Architects are still restricted by the features of AR devices, such as battery power and capacity, among others. Furthermore, it should be understood that developing content for AR implies a skill set distinct from that of a conventional graphic designer; a professional must be able to create models in three dimensions and have to know certain aspects of programming. It is also essential to make sure that navigating through AR is as easy as traveling in actual space, as confusing interfaces may only cause discomfort to users. Another consideration is multiscreen, where the AR experiences must seamlessly be runnable across different platforms with differing levels of processing power,” says Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of This can take a lot of time and be expensive, so it is always recommended to test and optimize first. Designers also want to weigh the use of the AR experience as the end user expects value and not just options created only for the sake of it.

7. The Impact on User Experience

AR, in particular, changes the type of user experience in Graphic Design by making it more engaging. “The user is free to perform actions that were unimaginable in previous generations: view the content in 3D, work with animation, move within the AR layer, and receive extra information. This engagement results in higher rates of user stickiness, thus helping the user experience the content in a much more profound way. For instance, AR can help customers to get more detailed and entertaining services with products they are interested in in a retail environment, which will contribute to the growth in store sales and customer satisfaction levels. In education, AR can change teaching and learning practices and help enhance pupils’ perception of learning by making the learning process more interesting and practical,” says Paul Phelps, Managing Director at SOLENT POWER. In marketing, AR can appeal to customers and give them satisfying experiences to remember, thereby predisposing customers to become loyal and recommend products to others.

8. The Future of AR in Graphic Design

Graphic design is a vast field, and augmented reality is a new addition. For now, there are only opportunities in the future. “One can only imagine what new tools and abilities graphic designers will be able to use when the technology behind AR is further developed. There is a hypothesis that AR will eventually be used in multiple spheres, from retail and advertising to education and entertainment. Integrating 3D design, VR, and AR will create innovations in further classifying graphics in forms that may not have been made before. AR’s effectiveness will improve with the help of trends like 5 G and enhancements to the speed of the experience. AR glasses and other wearable devices will be invented, increasing the profound integration of AR into society,” says Ben Flynn, Marketing Manager at 88Vape. Over time, designers will find fresh methods for using AR technology and help individuals create even stickier augmentations of their surroundings.


Graphic design integrated with Augmented Reality as a concept and technique is very interesting for creativity and involvement. Graphic design interfaces, when incorporated into augmented reality, provide an ability to design something that looks great and engages the user in a multisensory manner. However, like any other business, some risks come with the trade, but the opportunities that come with it make it a worthy investment. Despite these observations, one can confidently state that the combination of graphic design and AR will only expand and develop new ideas and features in the future. By adopting this intersection, designers will be able to remain knowledgeable in this sphere and create exciting and engaging designs with which users would connect.

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