Graphic Designer and Website Designer have always been under misconception by non – design people who are looking for design services and one window solution. On several occasions it has been found that graphic and web designers have the same approach and mindset as that of print media designing, even when they are designing for world wide web. There is difference between the two – quite crucial to know.
Graphic designer is one creative person who can visualize and design graphics based on requirements, you can also say it’s a commercial artist. Graphic designers can make a website look amazing, provide brilliant graphics for your site, design your logo, make you some gorgeous business cards, but they likely won’t be writing XHTML, CSS, PHP, or any of the other coding stuff that goes into making your website function or exist on the Internet.
Web designers, on the other hand, can do the coding that makes your website function and exist online. Web Design involves creating graphics, typography, and images just like Graphic Design, but use the World Wide Web. A web designer has restrictions on what they can do. Websites need to load fast and run efficiently. Web designer need to account for things like file size, screen resolution, along with overall speed and performance. That isn’t to say that web designers don’t have the design sense and savvy to produce something gorgeous, it’s just not necessarily what they’re experts in but in most cases they do. Web designers know the best of user experience and interface design for websites, how to create a responsive designs, reactive designs and user expected behavior. This involves knowing HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and most of the time Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Web designers are generally front-end coders which means that they do the coding that is required for any Content Management Systems and websites in general. They may require some re-enforcements if you need a financial institution website with high security and Amazon-style functionality (that’s where the back-end coders come in), but as a general rule, they can handle average websites’ building requirements.
Websites back in early 2000 were way more different that can be handled by most Graphic Designers but today the game has changed, there are User Experience Designers / User Interface Designers who specialise in website design. Due to heavy competition in this industry most Graphic Designers pretend that they know Website Design as well just for the sake of business which end up as a non user friendly experience of website.
Communication Design base for Graphic Designer and Website Designer is a must, one cannot be just a Website Designer without these foundations. Website Designer without the foundation of design is probably a website HTML developer who knows Photoshop.
Graphic Design field often have more freedom because they are not restricted by programming, resolution or speed. Web Design professionals have to balance good design with speed and efficiency for the web. There are some professionals out there that can do both of these positions as one, but it is rare that they are masterful since they tend to have more strengths in one or the other.
In case of Graphic Designer, if a printed piece gets over once the design is sent to print. The job is over. Web designing is different. It is all about continuous improvement, regular tweaking. It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of any print (graphic) design, since once it is out, you will never get an idea on how people are reacting to it and how people are seeing it. However, a website created by a web designer can be easily measured through Google analytics.
What makes it even more confusing is that most people don’t understand the differences between the roles. Often times, a web project will ask for a Graphic Designer but they really should have gone with a Web Designer in order to make a professional and efficient website. As the future of technology progresses, this conflict may eventually cease to exist. In my case, I am more into Web design/front end developer and I represent Ktmfreelancer, which is a web based IT company.
If you are a web or graphic designer,i want to know what do you think is the real difference between the two? As this is just a mere opinion, i want to hear from you.