How is Graphic Design Different from Web Design?

Using layout, images and type, web designers reach out to their audiences and communicate with them visually, and when doing so, they take many different factors into account, such as the brand they’re attempting to represent, design goals, type of audience or customer and the specific needs of their client. In many ways, graphic design and web design are interlinked and have many similarities. But while their responsibilities can be similar, there are some distinct differences between the two roles.


Understanding how users will navigate your website is perhaps one of the most important web design elements; if you don’t understand their habits, how can you present them with a website that offers them everything they need? Taking graphic design into account, the professional designer who usually works Din print form, will have an understanding of the fact that the items on each page. Don’t always interact with each other in the same way that buttons on a website should. When designing for print, the task becomes far more linear than if it were for a website. Where users skip quickly and effortlessly between pages. Take a matter of seconds to scan through content to find the keywords that will direct them to exactly where they want to go.


Let’s look in a little more detail at both web design and graphic design:


Web design; what is it exactly?

In the same way that graphic design involves creating graphics, typography and images. So does web design, except that in this case, the internet is the platform upon which the material is presented. To be able to turn their designs into a working module, web designers should be aware of HTML and CSS; they’re primarily concerned with the design of the site (UI), how easy it is to navigate (UX). Other technical aspects such as file size, screen resolution, and overall performance.


Graphic design; what is it exactly?

Graphic designers use illustrations, typography and images to present concepts that can then be changed into digital graphics like brochures, posters and business cards, to name but a few. Usually working in the medium of print, graphic designers don’t get involved in programming.


Now that we know what each role entails, let’s look at the main differences between the two:


The medium in which each designer works:

Perhaps the most obvious distinction between the two types of designs, is that graphic designers work in print, while web designers work online. With fewer restrictions stemming from areas such as programming, speed and resolution, graphic designers can express themselves a lot more freely. Web designers, on the other hand, must have all the relevant knowledge to make a website both functional and intuitive. With their designs needing to be translated across multiple formats and devices. Web designers have a lot more technical elements to consider in comparison to a graphic designer.


Graphic designs are static, not fluid, and as such, the focus is upon integrity. With printing being reliant upon the material and media being used, opportunities for post-production are generally limited in comparison to web design, which is much more dynamic in its visual effects. Web design should guide site users and show them how to use it with the use of visual instructions and a series of actions, while the visual focus is limited by the screen.


The visual elements:

There are three main visual elements used in both graphic and web design, color, font and graphics. Let’s look at each one in turn:


  • Color

Colors used in web design will be displayed differently depending upon the monitor they’re being viewed on. The resolution status, whereas printed graphic designs remain consistent through the entire project. Graphic design uses CMYK color mode that ensures a consistent result wherever they’re being used. While web design uses RGB in accordance with its special imaging mode, and taking the flow of traffic to a site into account. It relies upon not using too many strong colors that may overwhelm the user.


  • Font

When it comes to graphic design, what font is used is less of a concern for designers, since any font can easily be put into print. In web design, on the other hand, not all browsers support all fonts, so a standard font becomes the safest option for designers.


  • Graphics

Using physical size measurements such as inches and centimeters, graphic design is different from web design that uses pixels. Must take the final effect into account at every stage. With the size and quality of the graphics having a direct impact on the speed and functionality of a site & screen resolution needing to be considered, graphic designers have much less to think about.


The way in which information is carried:

Materials such as cloth and paper are often the carriers for graphic design. How much information is being presented, has a direct impact upon the size of the material used; it can’t usually be updated afterwards, either. Web design uses screens to carry its information, and with information amounts being limitless, it can be updated or altered quickly and easily.


The way in which information spreads:

With sales, printing and posting being the primary ways in which information is spread by graphic designers. Along with other forms of marketing communication, the information conveyed by web designers is driven and spread by traffic to the site.


To conclude, while both design elements are equally important for helping businesses to convey their messages. Promote their brands, they do have very different functions.


While web design has a relationship with the audience that is twofold. Graphic design places the visuals at the forefront of their work, making the relationship with their audience, very much a one-way street.