Web design and graphic design are often confused, even though they have a different set of tools. They both use images to communicate ideas, but their significant difference is how they use these images. Web design’s goal is making websites functional, while graphic design’s goal is making the photos aesthetically appealing. Though web designers can take on projects in the graphic design department, there are some things that only a graphic designer will be able to accomplish in this arena.
A website’s layout and content must work together for it to function properly, which means that web designers need to consider what words will convey ideas and where the images should go. Graphic designers need not concern themselves with anything other than making the images attractive to look at. Graphic designers can create a website’s logo and other images, but they do not need to make sure the layout is functional or that the words and pictures complement each other (though it helps if they do).
Countless layouts convey information in an aesthetically pleasing way, which means that web designers have a lot of freedom for what works. For a graphic designer’s work to be successful, everything must be planned out before any pencil is put to paper or any fingers touch a keyboard. Fonts, colours, shapes and sizes have specific meanings behind them, so graphic designers have to use their knowledge about these things in order to convey the proper message.
Words are integral when it comes to web design because they bring clarity to images, colors and fonts. Graphic designers don’t need to concern themselves with words unless they create an ad or a wordless picture book. Graphic designers focus on using the right images at the right time when they are developing websites. For example, when someone is trying to relax after work, the bright red text might jump out at them too much, so simple black letters are more effective in this case. However, if someone wants to be energized before going out for their morning run, then having bright red letters against a dark background might be just what they need.
Though words and images play off each other in web design, graphic designers use them to convey separate messages. Sometimes the images do not even need words to be effective; a picture of a smiling face might make someone smile when they see it without any accompanying text. In web design, this would not happen because the text is used with most images to clarify their meaning. Graphic designers spend most of their time thinking about how the colours, shapes and sizes will affect people when they look at the image from different angles or distances. Web designers only have to think about how an image fit into a layout plan and consider what type of image will work best with the words to convey a message.
In web design, images are used to bring clarity to text, but they do not have much meaning when viewed independently. Web designers can choose from various images that will help people understand a site’s purpose, which means that if one image does not work, then there are many other options for getting the same information across. Graphic designers working in print media need only find one image that conveys everything they want it to and fits into their layout plan without overlapping any of the edges of boxes. People viewing this type of graphic design might feel overwhelmed by all of the colors and fonts because there is no structure guiding them through the site.
When graphic designers and web designers work together, they can complement each other with their specific talents to create a better site than they could produce independently. Graphic designers help web designers with the overall look and feel of a site, while web designers bring clarity to graphics with words. Both jobs require working in teams so that everyone’s expertise benefits the project as a whole.