Are Web Design and Graphic Design The Same?

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It is quite surprising how often we hear the question “are web design and graphic design the same?”. If you step back and think about it, you could argue that both web design and graphic design are about designing a visual product. However, that would be a highly simplistic way of looking at the two disciplines. In reality, web design and graphic design are very different specialisms, each with its own skill sets.

Are Web Design and Graphic Design The Same

Is There a Cross-over Between Web Design and Graphic Design?

The short answer is yes. There is definitely a cross-over between web design and graphic design. It is primarily a one-way cross-over as the web designer needs to use graphic design in their work. Every website will use all sorts of graphics – logos, glyphs, images, and so on. These will need to be designed and created for the web designer to use.

Most good web designers are usually competent graphic designers as well. They will be able to create logos or edit images to suit the needs of the client’s website they are building. In some cases the web designer will outsource the designing of logos and other graphics to a local graphic designer, or via outsourcing websites such as Fiverr. Either which way, a web designer will need the skills of a graphic designer to be able to build a good website.

Why Are Web Design and Graphic Design Not The Same?

The main reason that web design and graphic design are not the same is that very different skills are needed for each discipline. The graphic designer is all about layout for fixed ratio publications, such as magazines, newspapers, posters, pictures or brochures. The graphic designer will use tools such as Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign and other apps of that type. These are complex and powerful apps, which in the hands of a skilled graphic designer can produce amazing results.

The web designer also deals with layouts, but these layouts are multi-dimensional. In addition the web designer has to many functions to think about in their design of the website – functionality, search engine optimisation, purpose. Although the web designer may be competent in some of the software tools used by graphic designers, they will mainly be using the chosen website platform for the website and the CSS styling code to achieve their results. Websites are dynamic and the layout has to suit many different types of screen – from 27”+ down to small mobile phone screens. Clearly, a single website layout will not be suitable for such different screen sizes. Therefore, different versions of the same content will need to be created by the web designer so that the content is optimised for each end user.

What Skills Does The Web Designer Need

What Skills Does The Web Designer Need?

The web designer will need skills in using the web platform they build their websites with. Many web designers will specialise in the versatile WordPress platform. To be able to use WordPress effectively, the main skills the web designer will have are CSS and to a lesser degree, PHP. CSS will be used extensively to create the styling of the website. WordPress websites will have many global settings to managed the styling, but invariably there will be elements which need to have individual styling. This could be the colour scheme of a section, or it could be that different sized text is required on small screen sizes. These tasks are easily achieved using CSS. PHP is a programming language used to build WordPress and any associated plugins. Web designers should have a basic knowledge of PHP to undertake minor functionality tasks. However, it is web developers who will use PHP to create plugins or apps using PHP.

Summary

So, are web design and graphic design the same? Clearly they are not the same, though there are some overlaps in skills between web design and graphic design. Both web design and graphic design are skilled jobs. One way of describing the difference would be to say that graphic design deals with static creations, whilst web design deals with dynamic “living” creations

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Christopher White

    Christopher White, Founder of Cotswold WebsitesChristopher White is the founder of Cotswold Websites. An accredited digital marketer and website designer, he has over 18 years of experience in creating bespoke websites.

    With a background in international logistics and business analysis, Christopher uses his business experience to advise organisations how their website can and should work for them, along with helping them implement business strategies to use Digital Marketing techniques to boost their public exposure.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Christopher White

    Christopher White, Founder of Cotswold Websites

    Christopher White is the founder of Cotswold Websites. An accredited digital marketer and website designer, he has over 18 years of experience in creating bespoke websites.

    With a background in international logistics and business analysis, Christopher uses his business experience to advise organisations how their website can and should work for them, along with helping them implement business strategies to use Digital Marketing techniques to boost their public exposure.

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