The Differences Between Web Design and Graphic Design

The Differences Between Web Design and Graphic Design

Being a good web designer and graphic designer can be very different things. Although there are some similarities, they are different mediums and the design considerations can vary.

With a website the design must work on a computer screen as opposed to a poster or leaflet. This needs to be taken into consideration with the design. The good thing about a webpage is that there is the option of scrolling. That said, this doesn’t mean it can be an endless size as this can frustrate visitors. One thing that designers have to be careful with is images as they cannot be larger than the screen, and should preferable be much smaller. There is more license when it comes to image size with graphic design as, in theory, they can be a large as the designer (and client) wishes.

Another thing that needs to be considered with web design that is not relevant for graphic design is the amount of time it takes to load websites. Visitors will soon leave a site if it takes too long to load, so the site cannot take more than the web servers can take. It cannot, therefore, be overloaded with graphics as this will slow the site down.

The way a website acts in different browsers needs to be thought about during its design. Although this may be more of a web development issue, the original design from the web designer has to be realistic in different browsers as they can sometimes act differently to each other.

With print a colour design costs more than a black and white design due to the cost of printing colour. This is not the case with web design. It is on a computer screen so doesn’t cost more to produce. Colour wise there may be more room for maneuver when designing a website, whereas with print the budget needs to be considered.

The functionality of a website is a major concern during its design. It is possibly even more important than the design, as a website is completely useless if it doesn’t work properly. All the features must perform as intended so the designer must think about what is and what is not possible. This is a completely redundant consideration for graphic design. While graphic design is more about just the design and message, web design also has to incorporate technical elements. Therefore it can be a good idea for designers to work with programmers who will better understand the technical limitations.

Both web designers and graphic designers need to think about the overall layout of their work, with the types of layouts that work for each not necessarily the same. What is generally acceptable for each medium needs consideration as does what works in the space. For example, the layout of the graphic design on a poster and in a leaflet will work differently to each other.

The main aim of graphic design is generally about advertising. With something like a billboard the aim is to catch the interest of a passer-by. There is more license with images and graphics and getting the right message across is the most important thing. With web design the aim is also to hook in the viewer but information might be more important than a single message. The intention is usually for a visitor to look at the site in more depth, to purchase something from the website, or to contact the company. Graphic design might be more about brand awareness that eventually leads to a sale.

Andrew Marshall A�

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