Difference Wiki

Graph vs. Graphics: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 14, 2023
A visual representation of data. Visual elements like images or designs.

Key Differences

Graphs are often used in math and science to visually represent a set of data or a relationship between variables. Graphics, on the other hand, refer broadly to visual images or designs on some surface, such as paper or a computer screen.
Graphs can be linear, bar, pie, or scatter plots, among others. They aim to provide a clear picture of data trends and relationships. Graphics, in contrast, encompasses a wide range of visual content including illustrations, animations, and layouts.
When creating a graph, one is usually working with specific data sets and wants to display them in an understandable manner. With graphics, the focus could be more on aesthetics, presentation, and design, rather than conveying specific data.
In classrooms, students might learn to plot graphs to understand mathematical concepts better. Graphics, meanwhile, can be found in textbooks, presentations, and websites, enhancing the overall look and feel, making content more engaging.
Graphs help in decision-making processes, especially in fields like business and research by highlighting data trends. Graphics play a crucial role in the world of marketing, media, and entertainment by capturing attention and conveying messages visually.

Comparison Chart


A representation of data or relationships.
Visual elements or designs.


To display data in an understandable manner.
To enhance visual appeal and convey information.


Bar graph, line graph, pie chart.
Images, animations, illustrations.


Mostly in math, science, and business.
Marketing, media, entertainment, web design.


Typically relies on specific data sets.
Can be abstract or representational.

Graph and Graphics Definitions


A diagram showing a relationship between variables.
The graph illustrates the rise in sales over the past year.


Visual illustrations or designs.
The graphics in the video game were incredibly lifelike.


A chart used to represent data in various formats.
She plotted a bar graph to compare monthly expenses.


Visual representations in print or digital media.
The magazine is known for its bold graphics and layouts.


A network depicting the connections between points.
Social media platforms can be thought of as a complex graph of users.


Artwork used to convey or enhance information.
The report was complemented with insightful graphics.


A drawn representation highlighting a trend.
The graph on the board showed a steady increase in temperatures.


Computer-generated imagery or animations.
The movie studio is renowned for its high-end graphics.


A mathematical structure consisting of vertices and edges.
The computer science class studied the properties of a graph.


(used with a sing. verb) The making of drawings in accordance with the rules of mathematics, as in engineering or architecture.


A diagram that exhibits a relationship, often functional, between two sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by the relationship. Also called plot.


(used with a pl. verb) Calculations, as of structural stress, from such drawings.


A pictorial device, such as a pie chart or bar graph, used to illustrate quantitative relationships. Also called chart.


(used with a sing. or pl. verb) See graphic arts.


The spelling of a word.


(used with a sing. or pl. verb) The pictorial representation and manipulation of data, as used in computer-aided design and manufacture, in typesetting and the graphic arts, and in educational and recreational programs.


Any of the possible forms of a grapheme.


(used with a sing. verb) The process by which a computer displays data pictorially.


A written character that represents a vowel, consonant, syllable, word, or other expression and that cannot be further analyzed.


The making of architectural or design drawings.


To represent by a graph.


The graphic arts.


To plot (a function) on a graph.


(computing) The pictorial representation and manipulation of data; the process by which a computer displays data.


A data chart (graphical representation of data) intended to illustrate the relationship between a set (or sets) of numbers (quantities, measurements or indicative numbers) and a reference set, whose elements are indexed to those of the former set(s) and may or may not be numbers.


(computing) The art or visual representations displayed by a computer.
This game is really fun, but the graphics aren't very good.


(mathematics) A set of points constituting a graphical representation of a real function; (formally) a set of tuples (x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_m, y)\in\R^{m+1}, where y=f(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_m) for a given function f: \R^m\rightarrow\R. See also Graph of a function Category:en:Curves Category:en:Functions


The art or the science of drawing; esp. of drawing according to mathematical rules, as in perspective, projection, and the like.


(graph theory) A set of vertices (or nodes) connected together by edges; (formally) an ordered pair of sets (V,E), where the elements of V are called vertices or nodes and E is a set of pairs (called edges) of elements of V. See also Graph (discrete mathematics)


Photographs or other visual representations in a printed publication;
The publisher was responsible for all the artwork in the book


(topology) A topological space which represents some graph (ordered pair of sets) and which is constructed by representing the vertices as points and the edges as copies of the real interval [0,1] (where, for any given edge, 0 and 1 are identified with the points representing the two vertices) and equipping the result with a particular topology called the graph topology.


The drawings and photographs in the layout of a book


A morphism \Gamma_f from the domain of f to the product of the domain and codomain of f, such that the first projection applied to \Gamma_f equals the identity of the domain, and the second projection applied to \Gamma_f is equal to f.


Elements in design that enhance visual appeal.
She focused on the graphics to make the webpage more engaging.


A graphical unit on the token-level, the abstracted fundamental shape of a character or letter as distinct from its ductus (realization in a particular typeface or handwriting on the instance-level) and as distinct by a grapheme on the type-level by not fundamentally distinguishing meaning.


(transitive) To draw a graph.


To draw a graph of a function.


A curve or surface, the locus of a point whose coördinates are the variables in the equation of the locus; as, a graph of the exponential function.


A diagram symbolizing a system of interrelations of variable quantities using points represented by spots, or by lines to represent the relations of continuous variables. More than one set of interrelations may be presented on one graph, in which case the spots or lines are typically distinguishable from each other, as by color, shape, thickness, continuity, etc. A diagram in which relationships between variables are represented by other visual means is sometimes called a graph, as in a bar graph, but may also be called a chart.


A drawing illustrating the relations between certain quantities plotted with reference to a set of axes


Represent by means of a graph;
Chart the data


Plot upon a graph


What is a graph?

A graph is a visual representation of data or relationships between variables.

Can a graph be a type of graphic?

Yes, a graph can be considered a type of graphic since it is a visual representation.

Why do people use graphs?

People use graphs to visualize and better understand data trends and relationships.

How are graphs different from graphics?

Graphs represent specific data sets, while graphics are broader visual elements or designs.

Can a pie chart be considered a graph?

Yes, a pie chart is a type of graph that represents data in a circular format.

Are graphics limited to computer imagery?

No, graphics encompass all visual designs, whether hand-drawn or computer-generated.

What tools are often used to create graphics?

Tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and graphic tablets are used to create graphics.

How do graphs aid in decision-making?

Graphs provide a clear visual of data, making it easier to spot trends, anomalies, and patterns.

How has technology influenced graphics?

Technology has allowed for more sophisticated, detailed, and interactive graphics, expanding possibilities in design and media.

What should one consider when plotting a graph?

One should consider data accuracy, scale, type of graph, and clarity of representation when plotting a graph.

How do you differentiate between a bar graph and a line graph?

A bar graph uses bars to represent data, while a line graph uses points connected by lines to show trends over time.

In what fields are graphics predominantly used?

Graphics are used in marketing, media, entertainment, web design, and more.

What's the difference between vector and raster graphics?

Vector graphics are made of paths and are scalable without loss of quality. Raster graphics are pixel-based and can lose clarity when resized.

Can the term "graph" refer to a network of interconnected nodes?

Yes, in mathematics and computer science, a graph can mean a network of vertices connected by edges.

Why is it said that "a graph is worth a thousand numbers"?

This emphasizes the ability of graphs to make data easily understandable and visually clear, much more than mere numbers can.

Do all graphs require a scale or axis?

Most graphs have scales or axes to provide reference points, but some, like pie charts, don't necessarily need them.

Can graphics be interactive?

Yes, with advancements in technology, there are interactive graphics, especially in digital media and websites.

How important are graphics in advertising?

Graphics are crucial in advertising as they capture attention, convey messages visually, and enhance overall appeal.

Why are graphics important in web design?

Graphics enhance the visual appeal, user experience, and effectiveness of communication in web design.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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