If you’re a newbie to the world of design technology, you might be wondering what on earth the difference is between web design and graphic design. While similar in some ways, they’re far from the same. You might be a business looking to hire a website designer, poster, or marketing materials, or you might be thinking of embarking on a career in design. Whatever the reason, you need to know the difference between graphic design and web design before committing to anything.
Need a helping hand to distinguish between the two? Don’t worry – we’re here to set the record straight.
What is web design?
Put simply, a web designer creates websites to be used on the internet. Their core focus is the layout, usability and visual aesthetics of a website. As such, a web designer needs to have a creative flair to be able to conceptualise a design idea and bring that to life. It’s important that a web designer is able to convey their client’s key message through all of the content that comes together on the website.
What is graphic design?
As with web design, graphic design involves producing visual content to convey an idea, message, or concept. A graphic designer’s ultimate objective is to increase the client’s visibility and relevance through the medium of visual communication. Graphic design can be produced for multiple mediums, including print and digital projects.
So what’s the difference?
The key difference between web design and graphic design is that web designers focus on creating interactive designs, specifically intended for websites. Web designers may also have an awareness of the technical, computer-related elements of design, including coding and programming. Graphic designers aren’t concerned with the technical aspects of a website. Their responsibilities end at designing and producing graphics that can later be used for publication in the print industry or on websites.
What are the key differences between web design and graphic design?
Let’s take a look at some of the main distinctions between web design and graphic design.
Type of presentation
Graphic design is traditionally linked to the printing industry, so it should come as no surprise that the presentation style is static. Whereas web design creates dynamic visuals. One of the challenges of web design is that it is limited to one screen, so it’s crucial to display the key information all in one place.
Graphic designers are generally given more free reign when it comes to fonts. Web designers need to weigh several factors together when choosing a font – it needs to reflect the brand, be clear to read on a screen, and not affect page loading time.
When it comes to graphics, graphic designers focus on physical size. Think millimeters, inches, centimeters, and so on. Web designers work with pixels.
Web designers and graphic designers also use different colours modes. Web designers tend to use a colour mode called RGB (Red, Green, Blue), which is specifically used for screens. Graphic designers are far more likely to use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black), which is primarily used for printed materials.
Graphic designers normally create something to be published on multiple mediums, like advertisements, magazines, and brochures. Although they still need to be comfortable with using up-to-date computer programmes and software to produce high-quality designs. Whereas everything that web designers produce is created for digital mediums.
To sum up So what’s the long and short of it? While web design and graphic design share some similarities, they’re ultimately different. Graphic design produces visuals for print and digital mediums, whereas web design creates content exclusively for websites. While it is important to recognise these differences, you should still look out for the same attributes if you’re thinking about hiring a web designer or graphic designer – an artistic flair, industry experience, an impressive portfolio, and a clear strategy.
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