View Full Version : What Is the Difference Between Graphic Design and Web Design?

6th April 2011, 07:43 PM
The world of web design is becoming a bit blurred as it mixes with programming and other forms of web manipulation, but one distinction that must always be made is that between web design and graphic design. Before you start out in either world, you must know the difference, and you must understand which of these you would want to pursue in the long term.

Web Design: A web designer exists to perform a very specific task. This task is of course that of building and even maintaining websites. A web designer needs to be well versed in a number of different programming languages that include CSS, HTML, PHP, and others. Keep in mind that web design today is oftentimes done with complex graphical interfaces, and these will render the process much easier. That being said you would certainly do well to look at some basic HTML books and even delve into CSS.

CSS of course is the most common language and it serves to form some rather impressive layouts. Keep in mind that unlike HTML this IS a programming language and it will require a fair amount of experience. Other web design methods will involve PHP and even ASP database programming which can be difficult for some. That being said, others might find the graphic design aspect of the industry to be a bit more appealing.

Graphic Design: There are some that would say this aspect of the industry requires much less skill, but in reality they are quite equal. Graphics are used in nearly every aspect of a website from the background image to the button controls on either the sidebar or at the top of the site. That being the case it is important to create semi-realistic graphics, or at least graphics that will be appealing to the users.

Note that the graphics used will need to match the context of the website, which means you will need to do some research before you actually begin working on any graphic design project. Note that there are many different graphic design programs out there from Photoshop, to Gimp, and even Corel. The one you use will be a matter of taste and ability.

As you can see, there is a huge difference between the two, but it is always necessary to use both of these in tandem. If you fail to do so, your website will be rather bland and it will not pull many users in. That being said, it is important to either learn both aspects of design or know someone that can create decent graphics in your stead. It's a difficult industry these days but it has become much more efficient.

Copyright (c) 2011 Mandi Pralle