Web Design vs. Graphic Design – What’s the Difference?

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When looking at the differences between a web designer and a graphic designer, there are multiple differences to point out. The biggest difference is the medium each use to publish their work.  The roles and responsibilities of each occupation are also very unique.

It is common for those who are not familiar with design to assume that web designers and graphic designers do the same thing. While both use the same skills and abilities, there is a difference between the two distinct professions.

Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between web design and graphic design.

Graphic Design

When it comes to visual elements like fonts, illustrations, graphics and colors, a graphic designer has much more freedom. Graphic designers make use of CMYK color mode because these designs are made for print. The design elements are static, while the visual end-product is more intuitive. These designs are used in printed marketing materials such as brochures and posters. In graphic design, emphasis is on the artistic aspect thereof. While it still conveys a message, there is more artistic freedom in this field.

Web Design

Web design involves the design of specific elements to make a website come to life. The colors, fonts and illustrations are limited to the characteristics and limitations of web development. There are a number of things graphic designers have to take into consideration, including the programming language, to ensure the design is not only visually appealing, but functions well. Web designers have to ensure that their designs work well within the websites frame. In this field, art becomes functional.

Simply put, graphic design allows creative freedom in a sense and has no limits apart from how the design appears on print. Web design is a more technical field where designers have to apply their design skills and understanding of how websites work. While some graphic designers can provide designs for websites, this is not always the case.

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