Graphic Design vs Web Design: What’s the Difference?

Nov 15, 2018 | Design News

Functionality and user-friendliness are some of the most important features of a website. A website should lay out an experience for the person viewing it. That way, they’re able to move through a website and get the information they need with total ease.

But a website should also be pleasing to the eye. It should reflect the personality of the company behind it. And it should keep the viewer coming back for more.

To achieve all these things, graphic design and web design are crucial. You may be thinking, “What’s the difference between graphic design vs web design? Is there even a difference at all?”

While they do complement each other, web design and graphic design are not the same.

If you’re looking to start a website or improve an existing one, you may be considering your options. To help, we’re here to hash out the difference between web design vs graphic design, once and for all.

Graphic design vs web design

Understanding Web Design

Web design encompasses all the skills and processes necessary for creating a website. From conceptualisation to planning and building a website, web design covers it all.

The World Wide Web is the medium designers build from. To create a working website, web designers will author and code them using HTML and CSS.

HTML and CSS are markup languages that produce the design and presentation of a website.

There are other coding and programming languages that web designers can use. But HTML and CSS are the standards.

They determine things like page layout, digital typography, plug-ins, and image formatting.

Web designers will also focus in on these areas beyond their markup languages. They’re constantly innovating new plug-ins and ways to make websites better.

Web designers have to encompass aesthetics and navigation all in one. How they design a particular layout will vary depending on the client.

The way an online store works is a lot different than how a blog runs, for example.


It’s Not All About Looks

There’s more to a website than its colours, font styles, and overall layout. Think about anytime you click on a website that takes several minutes to load.

Chances are you probably click away and return to the search engine to find a different result.

Web designers not only create the layout of a website. They work to enhance a website’s usability and accessibility. Their job is to make websites load and perform fast and efficiently.

Nowadays, web designers have to make websites compatible with PC and mobile devices. The more interactive and accessible a website is, the better. Because the longer users stay on a website, the better it’ll rank on search engines.

The correlation between search engine optimisation and web design is huge.

Web designers have had to learn to apply their skills within the realm of SEO. But most importantly, they have to design websites that cater to varying audiences.


Understanding Graphic Design

When comparing graphic design vs web design, graphic design has a longer history. People tend to think of graphic design as something that’s done on Photoshop. But the truth is that there is far much more to graphic design jobs than that.

From the logos on your cereal boxes and billboards to the visual layout of a website.

Graphic design is all about aesthetics and communicating messages through visual imagery. And since the beginning of time, there has always been graphic design.

Symbols. The alphabet. Typography. Posters. Advertising. And only recently did graphic design go digital. The history of graphic design goes back to the invention of the printing press – and far earlier.

With all that aside, what do graphic design jobs entail in the modern age where the Internet reigns?


It’s All About Looks

Whereas web design is all about programming, graphic design is all about art. The main focus is on creating and channelling the visual impact of a design.

A graphic designer can illustrate the style and colour of a logo, for example.

A web designer then codes and programs the logo and makes it possible for the website to showcase the logo.

There are far more mediums that graphic design can adapt to. Graphic design not only applies to websites.

Billboards, TV commercials, and clothing are a few examples.


Web Design vs Graphic Design: The Verdict

When it comes to websites, graphic design is important in creating first impressions. What viewers see when they first log onto a website will make or break their experience.

Accessibility and functionality, which web design focuses on, usually comes second.

But that’s not to say that one is more important than the other. Graphic design and web design pave the way for each other.

Without web design, it wouldn’t be possible to use graphic designs in a digital format. Nor would websites be as functional and easy-to-navigate as they are today.

Without graphic design, websites would look bland and permeated with code.

And they wouldn’t communicate the brand behind a company as effectively.

Think of web design as the technical part of a website, while graphic design is the artistic side.

You need both to create a successful and effective website.


Graphic Design vs Web Design: Which Is Right for Your Website?

People tend to confuse graphic design and web design and seek out the wrong services as a result.

Someone may hire a graphic designer when in fact they need a faster and more functional website.

Or, it’s often the case that a website is up and running fine but needs an improved appearance overall.

So, graphic design vs web design: Which does your website need? Or, are you in need of both?

To learn more about the web and graphic design services at YZ Designs, contact us today for your free quote!

We can help you create a better online experience with our web and graphic design services.


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