Graphic Design vs Web Design: Which One Is Right for You?
When it comes to graphic design and web design, there is a lot of overlap. However, there are also some key differences between the two specialties. Let’s explore those differences that can help you decide which type of design is right for your business or career path.
Keep in mind there is no wrong answer — both graphic and web design can be effective tools for marketing a business. But it’s important to understand the unique strengths of each field so you can make the most informed decision possible.
The TL;DR Digest
The two terms often get mixed up, but one style of design is not inherently like the other.
While graphic design centers on artistry and creativity, web design zeros in on how each component of a website operates and behaves simultaneously.
Web design is action-oriented. A user opens a navigational menu, scrolls through the product listings, or maybe watches an informational video on one of the product pages they’ve clicked through to.
Graphic design, however, is stationary. A user can see it or tap it etc., but there is no responsive action in return like with web design.
Graphic Design Is…
Graphic design combines art and tech to create a cohesive visual message via the 7 basic elements:
- space, and
This can be used in both digital and print.
Web Design Is…
Web design similarly combines art and tech (hence the confusion between the two) to affect the user experience of website planning and creation. This is focused on the 5 basic web design principles:
- visibility, and
Graphic Designers Use…
Text is a visual tool used to help communicate the who and the what of a brand identity. From the serif and typeface to color and hierarchy, typography must cohesively support the tone, grab attention, and establish brand recognition with every dotting of an i and crossing of a t.
Connecting text to images can be a powerful device to express messaging and directives. Consider also how the placement and context of these images can affect the idea or message the image conveys.
Layouts in graphic design means the arrangement of elements to make sure the messaging is clear, accurate, and coherent in its intent.
The strategy of color psychology can be a highly influential device for affecting how an observer feels about and interprets the graphic and its message. If a designer is creating a graphic for a wellness and relaxation company, colors associated with serenity and calmness like sage green and cerulean blue will be a much wiser choice than fire-engine red in order to visually support the brand identity, let alone how color also contributes to establishing brand recognition and, yes, brand voice.
…to name just a few of the elements needed to create designs that are used in print and digital media.
Web Designers Use…
Content Management Systems or CMS
A content management system is a type of software used for designing, organizing, and modifying website projects. It’s especially helpful for those that are more novice or are not especially skilled and knowledgeable in writing programming code.
Think Photoshop or Sketch. This software is the perfect place for drafting prototypes and guides for how the finished website should look. If not left up to a specific UX designer, they can also help web designers plan and create wireframes for the very structure of the site.
…among many more tools to produce websites that can be viewed on any device.
Check Out a Few of Agency Partner’s Related Posts on Graphic and Web Design
To Wrap It Up
So, what’s the difference between the graphic and web design?
Graphic designers focus on creativity — how a design looks and feels. That might use typography, color theory, or illustration to create an eye-catching piece of art.
Web designers, on the other hand, are more concerned with how all the parts of a design function together as a system. They need to make sure that everything works well together and that all the elements (text, images, navigation bars, etc.) are easy for users to find and interact with.