You are currently viewing 9 Ways Web Design Is Different Than Graphic Design

9 Ways Web Design Is Different Than Graphic Design

There are several similarities between Web design and graphic design, however, these seven features are what make them different. When it comes to the aspect of creativity, web and graphic design share a few similarities. They both need one to have a good understanding of typography, graphics, and the principles of design. All in all, web design and graphic design are uniquely different and therefore focus on different areas of expertise.

  1. Close connection with developers

You need to have good communication skills as long as you’re a web or graphic designer. Each project comes with its own set of expectations. Your ability to ask the right questions, give feedback and explain your process will enable almost any project to go further.

However, with web design, you’re always working with a developer or sometimes a front-end development team that translates the design into functional code. So, you and the front-end developer or web development team need to have knowledge about the design and all the details involved.

Graphic designers are usually the only artists behind the work created. They do most of their work on their own to create a creative vision. Web designers transfer wireframes and prototypes to developers so that they are translated into functional code. When so many people are involved in a project, it’s easy to lose track of a design’s original goals.

  1. Relationship with the viewers

Websites revolve around traffic and continuous visits. They’re a product that’s meant to be consumed by an audience. In case something’s amiss, be sure that it will get noticed and someone will surely talk about it.

Usually when things aren’t moving as they should, or just the mere fact that an audience hates a design, the noise about that situation will surely be heard by the web designers! The internet is the best place to get opinions and feedback. Simply read through the comments on any news article.

With graphic design though, things are different. Say a billboard for example: sometimes the tagline isn’t as convincing and then the color scheme could look “funny”, however you won’t find geniuses and design geeks calling the agency in charge to complain. (Rarely happens.)

  1. Caregiving

A graphic design professional usually signs off proof at the end of that project. However, a web designer’s work is never finished.

Just like an architect, web designers need to predict how a website might grow and then put aside space on which to make changes. It’s also important for them to remember that people who lack web design skills might be the ones making future changes.

As a graphic designer focuses on creativity, a web designer is more concerned with how each part of design functions together as one system.

  1.  Application of the design

Graphic designers work according to requirements— they’ll create a square peg to fit exactly one square hole. Expert web designers need to work towards creating a peg that fits every hole, it doesn’t matter the size or shape, also avoid destroying the design.

Web designers must keep scale in mind. Typography, images, and other visual elements increase in size or reduce with screen size. This is to make these elements readable and deliver a good user experience on any device.

  1. Typography obstacles

Graphic designers have the advantage of using any font they prefer while worrying less about how it will look in the final product. Web designers, on the other hand, need to keep in mind how the text will look on different screens and in different browsers.

  1. Load times and file sizes

A web designer’s work relies a lot on ideas and aesthetics, however, also optimization is equally important. All images, motion graphics, animations, plus other graphic elements need to look their best and be small enough to load quickly on all devices. Prolonged load times lead to bad user experience and negative bounce rates.

Graphic designers will most likely only care about file size when they’re attempting to fit a large promotional banner onto the back of their compact vehicle.

  1. Medium

The graphic design game originated from print. Starting with a magazine layout to a children’s book, printed materials are less interactive compared to their digital counterparts. Even so, they still rely on an artistic assembly of images, text, and other graphics as a means of telling a story or delivering a message. A flow and logic to navigating printed material are necessary.

Web design has similar origins as a largely visual design discipline, however, the way they focus on the web shows how artistry can create experiences that people can work with, instead of only consuming. A web designer can work together with a graphic designer for visual elements for example illustrations and iconography, a web designer though will then fit all these pieces together to come up with a complete interactive design — something that can be used.

  1. Expertise and Aptitudes

Website experts either code sites on their own or partner with web developers, who assist in coding the webpage. In case, at one point in time an understanding of coding language, for instance, CSS or JavaScript, is required to plan a powerful site. Proficiency in content management frameworks is also a requirement that goes without asking.

Graphic Designing professionals undertake their creative process with no worries about programming or development. They usually have skills in design programs, for instance, Illustrator and/or Photoshop.

  1. Work methods

Website specialists execute their work only on the PC. At one point they could be designing one site and at another time making changes to another client’s experience, their time is always on a screen.

Graphic Designers sketch thoughts with physical instruments all the time, for instance, sometimes with paper, pen, and even paint. This makes them work into a creative stream and gives them guidance for a realistic before creating it on the computer.


The fields of web design and graphic design are both based on visual channels — both processes involve designing for visual communication, and they call for proficiency in using effective text and visual elements to explain a point. Although there are some similarities, both of them live as different disciplines, with distinct areas of expertise, and they both play an important role in the web design process.

If you need further help getting your creative juices flowing, or have ideas for your next creative project, give GB Design Studio a call. We’d love to help bring your big ideas to life.