Graphic Designer

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

When it comes to graphic designers and web designers, there’s more to the names than just a job title. Once graphic artists who handled it all, designers nowadays are segmented into more focused specialties as digital and web work continues to evolve.

Graphic designers and web designers specialize in different aspects of the creative world. Can their skill sets overlap? Of course. But, when you’re working with a creative agency, it’s good to know who the experts are for your project. Let’s explore…

The Similarities

Graphic designers and web designers are creative and artistic professionals who, at their core, share many skills and interests. Both types of designers have an eye for design and visual communications. Each understands how to present information in an attractive and efficient way. They use layouts, graphics, typography, charts and images to convey ideas. They are well-versed in the importance of branding and brand consistency and the visual aspects of marketing. The most effective creative professionals, whether they specialize in web or graphic design, are passionate about learning, evolving, and keeping up with modern trends.

The Differences

Graphic designers offer a diverse scope of skills. They are adept at producing a number of different projects for both print and digital applications. They can design an advertisement for one client, then switch gears to create a logo for another. Many of their graphics can be for print work or used on a website. Their wheelhouse can encompass different types of finished deliverables with concrete specifications. Basically, once a design is approved, it’s finalized, sent to print, and put to bed. That definitive endpoint makes graphic design a bit different from web design.

Web designers are more specialized. They design website-related work ranging from landing pages to complete sites. They focus on both the design of the website and the functional, intuitive user experience. Not only is their objective to create a visually attractive site, but also ensure that it performs well and adheres to proven information architecture and U/X principles. This often includes optimizing page load times and file sizes. A web designer may dabble in SEO and content, but they are not web “developers” who specialize in coding and programming. Websites go through changes as company brands change. New content needs to be added for SEO or navigation needs to be tweaked to increase conversions. So, technically, a web designer’s job is never done.

The Blend

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for the lines to be blurred between the two areas of design work. Most designers can do both graphic and web design. Their skillsets can bleed into each other and be blended depending on the client or project. They are both creative and understand their medium — they know their stuff. Just make sure that you know who you’re working with when engaging with an agency on your next project.