web design vs graphic design

Web Design vs Graphic Design. Are they the same?

If you’re new to the design industry, you might be thinking about what the distinction is between graphic design vs web design. Are they the same, or do they need whole distinct skill sets? Which should you choose, and which would provide you with more chances as a freelance designer? In this article, we’ll understand the specialization of both roles before discussing significant distinctions and similarities between the two. Continue reading to know all aspects and suggestions related to these roles as you decide which professional route to take as a new designer. Let’s start with web design vs graphic design!

What is web design?

The implementation of graphics, typography, graphs, and pictures to express a concept is known as web design. However, Web Design is solely concerned with websites and not with print. Web designers are in charge of making websites that look great and load with high speed. As a result, Web Designers have constraints that Graphic Designers do not. For example, they must consider factors such as file size, image resolution, and so on.

web design vs graphic design

They must also take their designs and convert them into a functional website, which requires programming. Web designers must be proficient in HTML, CSS, and perhaps additional programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, etc. There are two types of web designers: UX (User Experience) Designers, who focus on how the website feels to use, and UI (User Interface) Designers, who focus on how the website is put out and its general appearance. These are both crucial since, unlike reading a newspaper, visitors of a website must engage with it. While there are designers who specialize in these disciplines, a competent Web Designer should understand both so that they may apply them while designing a website.

What is graphic design?

Graphic designers create visuals by combining text, photography, and artwork to express ideas. Previously, graphic designers focused on logos and print design, such as posters, brochures, magazine and book layouts, and packaging. However, as technology has advanced, design has evolved, and graphic designers are now working on generating more digital materials for websites and email.

web design vs graphic design

Graphic designers have a thorough knowledge of design fundamentals. Graphic design requires expertise in design components such as typography, color theory, visual hierarchy, and layout. They develop their work using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign regularly. Graphic Design is only concerned with the design of visuals for usage on websites or in print. Graphic designers are not programmers.

Difference between web design and graphic design

Many people are unaware of the distinction between these two professions. As a result, sometimes, a web project manager will engage a graphic designer, expecting them to know how to accomplish things that only a web designer would know how to do. Also, if you want to create eye-catching graphics that successfully express your idea but don’t care about how your ultimate product will look on the web, a more artistic Graphic Designer might be a better alternative.

The user can engage with the design while using web design. You click a button, travel around several web pages, and some may even have motion graphics and videos. Graphic design is a much less engaging assignment. You can look at the design and touch it, but it doesn’t change or move as you want.

In other words, graphic design is static. When you create a design for a book cover or a poster, you can’t modify it after it’s published. Web design, on the other hand, is a fluid media. It possesses the ability and flexibility to alter and adapt. Every few years, a company’s website may be completely redesigned. Design trends change, and businesses must stay up to date.

web design vs graphic design

On a technical note, Web designers must have their hand in HTML, CSS, and how to make a design function on the internet. Traditional graphic design allows you to personalize your design with minimum constraints freely. However, it would be best if you considered technical restrictions such as file size and load time when it comes to web design.

Skills needed to be a web designer

  • Basic design tools: The first web designer skill you must learn is how to use essential design tools. These are the key pillars for developing a successful website design. However, you must ensure that you utilize the appropriate tools at the correct time. Photoshop, for example, is a beautiful tool for image processing, while Adobe Illustrator will be more beneficial for graphic design. Getting acquainted with such elements will familiarise you with the entire creative canvas.
  • UI/UX and Visual design: According to a recent study, 75% of consumers create an impression of a website based only on its appearance and feel. This implies that to become a web designer, you must master the art of improving the UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) (User interface). Begin by creating a visually attractive website. Grid systems, color theory, type hierarchy, and web fonts are all essential elements. Make sure that the current website is responsive to all types of devices. Learning them will offer your web design profession an immediate boost.
  • HTML and CSS: Gaining an extensive understanding of HTML (Hypertext markup language) and CSS (Cascading style sheets) is one of the most vital web designer skills to aim for. HTML and CSS are the essential building blocks of a website’s design and structure. They allow you to read and change a page as many times as you like. By mastering these critical languages, you will be able to land a good web design job quickly.
  • Web server management: Web server management is an often neglected web designer skill that most designers aren’t particularly good at. Although web servers are not strictly a part of web design, understanding how they work will help you avoid downtime while fixing problems in a timely and intelligent manner.
  • Content management systems (CMS): To become a web designer, you must first learn the fundamentals of CMS. CMS is essentially a software program that incorporates digital asset management. Web designs, embedded images, video audio files, and other programming algorithms are examples of assets. Knowing how CMS works will help you build websites more efficiently.
web design vs graphic design

Skills needed to be a graphic designer

  • Creativity: The ability to be creative is the first and most important talent of every graphic designer. This is true on multiple levels. First and foremost, it is the capacity to adapt something that already exists and enhance it further. Second, it is the power to make something out of nothing, imagine something and bring it to life. This is the toughest of all the talents in a graphic designer’s metaphorical toolbox to acquire.
  • Typography: This skill is overlooked quite often, and it is a skill that every graphic designer should have. It sounds dull, like something from another era, but it isn’t. Graphic design, while sometimes linked with visuals, is primarily concerned with communication. It’s all about distributing information, whether through a website, catalog, or newsletter, and that involves language. Knowing about font styles, line height, and sequencing is an essential skill for every graphic designer.
  • Software: This skill is the first necessity, and it goes without saying. A graphic designer must be proficient with various software tools, including Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator, and others. You must create and modify photos, movies, animations, page layouts, and so much more in a field where many kinds of media are coupled with words. Knowing how to use a range of graphic design software will help you constantly meet and surpass your clients’ expectations.
  • Communication: Though it may seem obvious, the most successful graphic designers are those who can efficiently connect with their clients. That is how you complete a task to their satisfaction. After all, they are the ones who are employing you. They have a need, and they want you to provide that need in a comfortable way for them. You will never thrive in the area of the graphic design if you are unable to communicate effectively, take constructive criticism, or follow requirements.
  • Delivering presentations: Graphic designers are storytellers. As a result, taking complex data and delivering it to consumers or clients in a straightforward, digestible manner will make you a much more valuable employee.
skills to be a graphic designer

Salary difference: web design vs graphic design

An education breakdown study reveals the educational history of a web designer and a graphic designer. Around 75% of web designers and 70% of graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree in design. A web designer may earn up to $ 75,660 per year from a salary perspective, while a graphic designer can earn up to $ 43,500 per year. After a salary survey indicated higher payrolls in UI/UX designer jobs, many graphic designers tend to change their job to UX designers.

Web design vs graphic design, which role is more in demand?

When you are first exploring the field of design and considering how to make it into a long-term successful profession, it is essential to consider what you want to specialize in. You might be wondering which field of design will be popular and in more demand in the future. It is recommended to learn the design concepts you’ll need as a graphic designer and then seek a career in web design. As the world becomes more digital, having the essential skills is the most excellent way to secure your future. Although you may always work on graphic design projects, concentrating on web design can help you establish a successful career.

Which one takes more time to learn? Web design vs graphic design

As discussed earlier, we already know that web design is something more than what you do in graphic design. Graphic design is popular but is hard to learn a profession, but web design adds more to it. Apart from all the fundamentals of graphic design, a web designer needs to learn programming languages and understand how a website works. Thus, learning advanced web design concepts will take a lot of time to learn than only focusing on graphic design.

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Some of the best tools used in web design

  • InVision Studio: InVision Studio aspires to be the only UI tool you’ll ever need. It includes a slew of tools for creating attractive, interactive interfaces, such as tools for quick prototyping, reactive and collaborative design, and operating design systems. Rapid prototyping will help you develop intricate and inventive transitions, allowing you to reach the desired amount of animation. Decide how you want your UI to appear at the start of its transition, and then create the ultimate result. The rest is handled by InVision Studio.
  • Sketch: The sketch is one of the most popular online design platforms; it’s a powerful vector-based tool for collaboratively developing interfaces and prototypes. The sketch was designed just for creating websites and applications, so no extraneous features are cluttering your interface, and it is faster and more efficient than tools with an enormous scope. Sketch’s built-in grid structure is fantastic and dramatically simplifies interface design. The overall UI and simple feel make it easier to design in and are highly user-friendly.
  • Adobe XD: Under the Adobe Creative Cloud package, Adobe XD provides the most sophisticated environment for digital projects. If you’re a long-time Adobe user who is new to XD, you might not find the UI very ‘Adobe’-like at first. However, it matches well with the other primary tools in the market. Adobe XD is an integral part of the Creative Cloud, so you can quickly import and work with materials from Photoshop or Illustrator. If you’ve used similar Adobe applications, the UI will seem comfortable and familiar, and there must not be too much of a learning process.

Some of the best tools in graphic design

  • Adobe Photoshop: Photoshop has become an indispensable tool in the lives of designers. Consider software that will help you easily transition your artistic style into the digital realm, a software that will complement your artistic style. Photoshop is a potent tool for designing prints and patterns to help you be the best designer you can be. It provides many options, tools, and settings for graphic designers to open up new possibilities and produce a more realistic design with appropriate direction.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator allows you to edit visuals in 2D or 3D to improve the productivity of your creative workflow. Illustrator is used by designers of all levels, including professional graphic designers and digital artists, to produce a wide range of digital services. Adobe continues to add exciting features to Illustrator, such as changeable fonts, quicker document production, simpler picture cropping, stylist sets to texts, stability upgrades, and a modern user interface, among others, to make it one of the most effective and most valuable tools for graphic designers.
  • DesignBold: DesignBold is an easy-to-use online design tool that allows you to create unique designs with only a few drag-and-drops. DesignBold is an excellent choice for you to construct the design elements yourself, with a massive library of 12,080+ adaptable layouts and various design materials. It is quick, inexpensive, and appropriate for both beginner and professional designers.


It is essential for you to decide on a professional route you see yourself best at. Both professions need unique abilities, with Graphic Design emphasizing creative abilities and Web Design emphasizing programming and web expertise, although there is a significant overlap in both areas. So, if you’re thinking about the ideal profession for you, keep the discussed differences between Graphic Designers and Web Designers in mind!

– Written by Sonal Rawat (Blog writer at Sharcio)

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