Graphic Designer vs. Web Designer: What is the Difference? Skip to main content

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There are a lot of similarities between graphic designers and web designers. Individuals in both professions need to be creative, good with technology, have an eye for detail, and be able to come up with unique and impactful designs. 

Graphic and web designers often use the same software and may even be employed within the same companies. However, despite the many similarities, these are actually two very different careers.

Read on to find out some of the differences between web and graphic design, so that you can choose which is right for you and start the journey towards your dream career. 

A Graphic Designer Works With All Formats—Not Just Digital

One of the main differences between graphic and web design designer programs is the format that you are designing for. As the title suggests, web designers exclusively work with websites and digital formats. This means that they need to be aware of things like file size. Graduates of web design courses know that it’s important that a website loads quickly and is user-friendly, as well as looks good. 

In contrast, graphic designers could design for websites, print magazines, posters, t-shirts, mugs, and any other format you can think of. This means that they might use larger files when working on designs for magazines, ads, or other print media. 

Web designers need to consider file size when designing websites for digital use

Web designers need to consider file size when designing websites for digital use

Think About Ease of Use and Functionality

When designing websites, web designers need to think about whether or not a website is ‘user friendly’. You might need to put yourself in the shoes of the target audience and imagine how you would use the website. Is it easy to find information and move from page to page? As well as this, you will need to consider if the website looks as good on a computer as on a phone or tablet.

This means that web designers aren’t just focused on aesthetics and appearance but also on functionality and the user experience (UX). The moment when you can design a website that looks good and works well is the moment you know you’re a skilled web designer. 

Graphic designers are more likely to be all focused on the visual effect of an image and the message it communicates when you look at it. In a graphic design diploma program, you will gain hands-on experience using software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create compelling and effective images for different clients. If you’re a creative person who is fascinated by colour, typography, and other visual elements, then you might enjoy the creativity that comes with being a graphic designer. 

A Web Designer Need to Be Familiar with HTML and More 

Web designers need to have a good understanding of coding and markup languages, and be familiar with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more! This technical aspect of the career can be especially rewarding for those who like technology and exploring their creativity at the same time. If you have a passion for technology and are interested in coding, you might be more interested in a future in web design. 

However, if you are very visual and creative and do not want to be limited by the needs of a website, then graphic design might be the career for you. 

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