Tuesday, 26 March 2013 22:10

The difference between graphics designers and web designers

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Graphics designers and web designers live in two different worlds, yet so many confuse the two. In the beginning the internet was littered with flat websites that exhibited some of the most grotesque designs known to the digital space. Some of them are still with us, even today. As time went on, the push to create more aesthetically pleasing websites grew. Web designers began attempting to make their websites nicer looking. Some succeeded. Some failed, miserably.

They failed because they did not understand design. Enter the graphics designer. Suddenly, websites began to look really nice. Graphics designers began learning HTML in an effort to capture this new market. There was one problem. They had to learn HTML. Learning HTML, although not extremely difficult, has absolutely nothing to do with graphics. Some graphics designers cringe at even the thought of writing anything that resembles code.

As the internet developed, new web design applications emerged. Wordpress, Joomla! and Drupal began making web design a little more feasible for graphics designers. Also, as graphics design programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop became more popular, web designers began teaching themselves how to maneuver these programs to produce graphics elemtents. Some became pretty good with these programs while others failed, dramatically.

Consumers now demand a certain level of quality from websites, ushering in the predominance of user experience (UX). The space that was once beholden to web designers and graphics designers has become crowded with the likes of ASP, PHP, Social Media, SEO, email marketing, information architecture and yes, more. The days of the jack of all trades web designers is evaporating quickly. The internet has become so complex that no one person can possibly do it all anymore while producing a high quality website.

So, what's the difference between graphics designers and web designers?

First of all, they speak two different languages. Graphics designers use programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Web designers work with HTML, CSS, Javascript and Jquery, just to name a few. Web design is more similar to programming. In fact, with conditional statements introduced into CSS3 for responsive web design, CSS is practically programming. Furthermore, you can now program animation into a web design. Hover your mouse over the box below and see what happens.


That took a few lines of code that look like this:

<div class="animated_div">
<span style="font-size:50%;">Transition</span>
.animated_div {
background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #92B901;
border-radius: 5px 5px 5px 5px;
color: #FFFFFF;
float: left;
font-size: 15px;
font-weight: bold;
height: 40px;
margin: 5px;
opacity: 0.4;
padding: 10px;
position: absolute;
transition-duration: 1s, 1s, 1s, 1s, 1s, 1s;
transition-property: width, height, transform, background, font-size, opacity;
width: 60px;

Piece of cake, right! Astute web designers can look at this code and know that something is missing, but I'm not telling. :)

Another difference is that a lot of graphics designers produce their designs for print. Since their designs may be purposed for print, graphics designers have to know which formats and colors are needed for different print products (i.e. business cards, booth displays, product packaging, pamphlets, flyers, etc). Web designers only work in the digital space. A web designer can translate that graphics design into HTML and CSS and flip it upside down, turn it around, make it light up when you click it, etc. On top of that, web designers have to now make websites that are mobile ready.

Listing every single difference between graphics design and web design would make for a really long read and be purely academic, if not already. The primary goal here is to hopefully educate those who are looking to get a website designed or redesigned. The secondary goal is help free web designers and graphics designers from the shackles of misconception. In the end, web surfers and website owners will benefit from a better understanding of what those web and graphics people are actually doing for their clients.

Hopefully, you found this post useful. If you have any questions about web design feel free to Contact Us here

Read 7269 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 00:19
Steve Dukes | Owner/CEO - Webhosting and Beyond, LLC

Steve Dukes is the Owner/CEO of Webhosting and Beyond, LLC and has been building websites since 2007. He originally just wanted to blog, but later found himself building websites for friends and later busienss owners. After which, he started Webhosting and Beyond, offering web hosting, web design, domain registration, and eCommerce websites.

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