Graphic Design vs. Web Design: Who to Hire?
Graphic design vs. web design: what are they? Both are creative forms but on slightly different paths. While the two professions have different names, they share many similarities that make them pair well together. They each focus on the aspect of design and how to achieve something that draws attention while still getting the point across.
What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is a visual way of creating a message. It uses different forms of imagery, such as illustrations, typography, and photography to achieve this. Graphic design can be done both digitally and for print. It requires the knowledge of specialized software, like Photoshop or Illustrator, to create intricate communication visuals. It focuses primarily on the element of art.
Graphic design is not limited to one form of media. It is versatile to a business or company’s marketing—such as a brand strategy. Graphic designers often work on things like business cards, logos, or merchandise and can be crucial for creating brand familiarity.
What is Web Design?
Web design is the design of websites, usually in the form of creating a site’s appearance. In this role, the designer doesn’t need to be familiar with coding however, it can be an asset. Instead, web designers typically use designated software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, along with web design software like Adobe XD, Sketch, and Google Web Design. Among other things, web designers must consider how fluid a website can run, or what the user experience might be like. They are usually thinking about it from a visitor standpoint: how it looks; how it feels to use; how fast it is to run.
Difference between Graphic Design and Web Design
The broad, general difference between graphic design and web design is that web design is exclusively digital. It exists solely through the presence of a website. Since websites should be adaptive to any screen size, the dimensions that web designers work with are typically limitless. Graphic designers, on the other hand, have to adapt their work to a multitude of platforms. They have limited sizes, such as an Instagram post or a banner. Web designers must ensure that websites are fast and have a layout that makes sense to the people visiting that site. They have to make sure that it is responsive. Graphic designers often work independently while web designers might work on a team with web developers.
Despite the size limitations, graphic designers have more liberty in their creations than web designers. One common comparison might be typography. Something like, which font to choose, might seem minor to most people, not for web designers though. Graphic designers can choose essentially whichever font they want in their project because, by the end of the day, that font will show in print. Web designers can often find themselves restricted in the selection of fonts that can be used on the web. Even choosing colors are different among the two roles. Graphic designers normally use a CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key) color mode because much of their work is print reliant. Web designers use a mode called RGB (red, green, blue) and HEX (hexadecimal color).
Another difference between the two would be that web design can be updated as many times as necessary. Graphic designers go through meticulous revisions for many of their projects since most of them are for print. After a design has been published, it can be considered done—at least for a while, that is. Websites do not have a final publication. Any site that is live tends to be updated as frequently as needed to stay relevant.
Incidentally, graphic designers can become web designers. This involves getting accustomed to the different color modes, font selections and working on more dynamic designs rather than the usual static ones that graphic designers may be used to.
Examples of Graphic Design
Having a memorable logo goes a long way. Evolving a brand can take time, so even the smallest efforts made into adding a logo or brand colors onto some merchandise can be eye-catching. People will notice these things, no matter how simple they may seem.
1. Logo design
The main idea with an effective logo design is to keep it as simple as can be. Having a memorable logo is important because people often can recognize the design of one if they do not remember the name.
2. Business cards
Business cards are like the elevator pitch to your business in a visual form. They should include the important, brief details: logo, contact, online platforms. As minor as they may seem, business cards can be a great tool for growth.
3. Colour palette & Typography
Along with a logo design, brand colors are one of the first things people see. Choosing the right brand colors for a business goes a long way because they are conveying unspoken feelings or information about what the business is about.
4. Office documents or Brand stationery
Letterheads, envelopes, manuals, or any and every official document coming from a company should have its applicable branding. Letterheads are an easy feature, but they make things look official, professional, and established.
Marketing and advertising
This is usually the first thing people think of when they hear the words, “graphic design”. Graphic designers are tasked with the challenge of getting a clear point across while simultaneously having an engaging design. Therefore, businesses depend on them to create marketing content. A good design should–in some ways–move the audience towards the intended direction or be exceptionally informative.
1. Brochures & Magazines
Brochures and magazines are packed with visual content about different lines of products or topics. Traditionally, brochures contain informational or educational topics about a product or program. They use brief text summaries and have visuals that pull all the content together. Magazines cover an array of topics but center everything around visuals, sometimes having a photo that takes up an entire section of pages.
2. Product labels & Packaging
Packaging is what makes products recognizable and extends the advertising strategy. Packaging comes in different forms and usually contains a description of the product it contains. Product labels are any type of label attached to a product, such as a logo.
3. Tradeshows & Promotional items
Tradeshows are events that enable organizations and companies to showcase themselves and any products or services that they offer. Tradeshows are full of different forms of branding. Businesses usually have informational signage such as roll-up banners and brochures, but they also have several types of merchandise. These can usually be water bottles, notebooks, pens, and tote bags. All these items will contain a company’s logo.
4. Newsletters & Email campaigns
Newsletters can be both print and digital. They can be a fantastic way for businesses to keep their consumers in the loop about new updates, products or offers that their audience might be interested to know about. These should be consistently scheduled and used for informational purposes, typically with a call to action.
Examples of Web Design
Good web design will be dynamic across whatever device it is being viewed on. Web designers that put mobile layouts first understand that these days, most browsing is done through smartphones.
Attention to detail is the key when creating an adaptive and responsive website. Notice how on the Still Up Marketing website, there is an immediate, clear call-to-action? The, “Get a Design” button gets straight to the point and entices visitors to learn more about their services. There is a consistent theme across the entire site that uses the same brand colors, modern images, and clean graphics. It is evident that they offer professional services, and it shows through their website.
As online shopping becomes people’s first choice for making purchases, web stores have become more important than ever. These sites are built with the purpose of buying in mind. They use familiarized layouts, categories, filters, and convenient “add to cart” buttons on each product.
Online portfolios are excellent ways to showcase a person’s work, whatever it may be. These are typically more visual sites, putting all the spotlight on the projects with minimal descriptions or wording.
Depending on the category, blogs tend to be a little more laid back and casual. They use a hybrid of text and images, usually feel personal to the audience than a typical website. Blogs can also be educational, providing the same style of images to text. Educational blogs are normally less formal and easier to understand to connect with a larger audience.
A landing page is a single web page with the intention of leading the visitor to do one thing. Rather than encouraging exploration of a website, landing pages focus on one goal and that is typically to increase conversion rates for lead generation campaigns.
UI & UX designs
UI/UX designs are the visual elements of a website that are responsible for layout, design, text, brand, sound, and interaction that is wrapped behind the amazing user interface that visitors see. Ultimately, these interfaces and experiences of a website are what influence a positive or negative perception of a product or brand.
UI (user interface) designers specialize in the digital spectrum. UI designers concern themselves with the aesthetics of a website. They focus on how the look of a website matches the overall premise of a business.
UX (user experience) designers, on the other hand, focus on how the design feels to use. Essentially, UX designers are determined to distinguish between how easy or difficult it is to interact with the elements that UI designers have created for a website. They deal with the experience and observation of the product.
Aside from being nice to look at, a good web design should have a seamless flow. Navigating a website needs to make sense to the visitor. Important elements such as a “contact” or “about” page should be accessible. There should almost be subtle guidance of where a visitor should go to next when they browse.
Who do you hire?
Depending on what goal is being achieved, a graphic designer and a web designer can either work as a team or in solitude. If a business or blog is looking to improve social media content, promotional designs, or anything that needs to be in print, it is then the job of a graphic designer to improve that. However, if it is a matter of making a more efficient website or changing the general look of one, then a web designer comes into play. Together, web designers and graphic designers can collaborate their ideas and create a smooth-running website with compelling visuals. These two jobs may have their differences, but they can be very powerful resources for a business when on the same team.