Difference Between Graphic Design and Web Design Decoded

Graphic design vs web design
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Are you new to design and trying to figure out your way? Essentially all designers are visual communicators who work with a shared purpose of communicating via images and design layouts. When it comes to graphic design vs web design, we can say that both have things in common but are not exactly the same.


Do you know what is the difference between the two?


You can understand their differences in the objective of their scope of work. So, which one should you opt for? From the two, which can bring in better compensation and opportunities for you?


This guide will answer these questions starting with defining what each role specializes in, and then we will discuss the difference between graphic design and web design. Finally, we will also address some points of similarity to help you pick your preferred career path as a designer.


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What Is Covered In Web Designing?

Web designers build websites. They do not center themselves around the message being delivered but the user experience. Even though most web designers work on websites, their profile does not curtain them.


Some even design web applications and are considered important in web development. They usually code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.


Their role comprises:

  • Creating websites
  • Handling the computer-related or technical aspects of a project
  • Integrating video, audio, and graphics into the website
  • Writing or programming codes like XML, JavaScript, or HTML
  • Testing or creating apps for the website and that’s one of the major graphic design and web design differences
  • Building content for the website
  • Keeping a check on the website’s capacity and performance – how much traffic it can handle and the load time
  • Planning the artistic look for the website in collaboration with the graphic design


What Is Graphic Designing?

Also known as communication designers or graphic artists, graphic designers combine technology and art to build visual concepts, showcase their views via images and present a clear idea or message to the viewer.


So, in a stricter sense, a graphic designer communicates with elements like typography, illustrations, graphics, etc. They begin by sketching on paper or directly employ specialized software like CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop to create ideas that engage, inspire, and inform consumers.


Which is better graphic design or web design? A little more patience and you will find out!


Their role comprises:

  • Determining the look and layout for websites involving both images and text (selecting colors, font, and line length)
  • Building the production design for printed pages like reports, magazines, brochures, and advertisements
  • Designing digital assets like infographics, graphics, and interactive materials
  • Simplifying complex statistical data into easily understandable diagrams and illustrations, making them accessible for readers/viewers

Related: Graphic Design Courses Online | Graphic Designer Interview Questions


Why Is It Important To Know The Difference Between Graphic Design And Web Design?

Most people are unfamiliar with the distinction between graphic design vs web design professions. If you are new to the field and are unsure which of the two is a preferable job role, you must know the difference between the two fields. Knowledge of it will help you form an informed decision.


For a web designer, it is vital to understand the buyer persona, their habits, and how they navigate your website. Knowledge of these will help you create beautiful designs for the website.


On the contrary, a graphic designer works mainly on the design. Essentially, designing for print/online content is relatively more linear than for the web. In the latter, a user hops from one page to another, scouting the content for keywords that redirects them to more information on the site.


So, now you know the answer to ‘Is graphic design and web design the same thing.’ But unfortunately, some companies hire a graphic designer for a web project with the belief that they are as adept at it as the web designer.


However, please remember a graphic designer can assist you if your goal is to achieve visually appealing images that present your idea effectively, without consideration of how the final products look.


For potential employees, it is vital to understand what is the difference between graphic design and web design when deciding between the two fields. Both these career paths employ a different set of skills.


For instance, web designers focus primarily on understanding and programming the web, and graphic designers center themselves strictly around creative design skills. But, there is also some overlap between the two fields.

Graphic Design and Web Design Differences

Points Of Difference Graphic Design Web Design


One significant difference between these two is their publishing medium. Graphic designs work for the print/online medium. Web designs are for the web and online mediums only.
Technical skills They should be well-acquainted with design tools and software like CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. They need familiarity with CSS, HTML, and making designs work on the web.
Non-technical skills A graphic designer needs knacks like problem-solving, strategy, patience, creativity, etc. A web designer needs skills like top-notch IT skills, analytical skills, patience, communication skills, etc.
Maintenance Once you print & upload the design, it is done. Web designs require continuous maintenance. You are never done with it.
Existence Graphic designs may exist in the physical and digital world. Web designs exist solely on the web.
Freedom and flexibility


Between graphic design vs web design, graphics have a greater flexibility. Flexibility is less because web designs are curtailed by restrictions on web considerations like speed, resolution, and programming.
Work teams Graphic designers work independently. But, sometimes, graphic and web designers may work together to build a cohesive web design. Web designers work together with web developers.
Primary responsibility They help determine the brand’s image. They have to deliver the brand’s core message.
Static vs. dynamic Presentation is static or permanent because once you finalize the design, you cannot make changes to it. Presentation is dynamic and lively, and you can redesign the website every few years.
DPI and pixel dimensions In graphic design, the file size has a vital role to play. Opt for the highest resolution image, resulting in large file sizes. Here, the photos should be at least 300 DPI. You have to size down the image for the web for a faster load time. Here, you save the pictures in 72 DPO.
Interactive It is less interactive because the user can touch and look at it but not change it while interacting with it. Users can interact with the design. They click on a button and navigate through different pages.
Average Salary Their average salary is $45,000 per year. Their average salary is $51,500 per year.


With that, you know the differences. However, the two may overlap multiple times. So, if you ask us if both web & graphic design are same, our answer will be a straight no. But, there is an interdependency between the two career prospects. Let us now discuss these similarities.


Is Web Design And Graphic Design The Same?

Even though closely related, graphic and web design are not the same. However, the two belong to one design discipline, but each has its characteristics, and it is a prevalent error to confuse them as the same.


Essentially both of them attend to a shared web-based product. But, the web designer’s role is relatively more crucial than a graphic designer’s as they concentrate on user experience, which can be a make-or-break situation for a brand/company.


Apart from the difference between graphic design and web design, here is a list of similarities between the two:

  • Both should be thorough with elementary design fundamentals – knowledge of the right color and typography for the design.
  • They should both constantly update themselves about the latest design trends.
  • A graphic designer and a web designer should be creative problem solvers and good communicators.


Which Design Skill Will Be More In Demand In The Future? Web Or Graphic?

Naturally, if you want to safety-proof your career, you may wonder which can be a more rewarding prospect for you in the future. So, in our recommendation, you should acquire graphic and web design skills and walk on the path of a web design career.


We say so because the latter is more monetarily rewarding, and when you know you have an added advantage, you can add graphic design projects to your services and make more money.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. What should you choose – graphic design or web design?

Ans. We have above-discussed the graphic design vs web design differences. But, there is no question of which is better, because they are both equally bankable skills, which will see high demand in recent years. In terms of compensation, too, the scale is top-notch.


However, the thing is, web designing has always seen a higher demand than graphic designing. But, it does not mean you opt for web designing over graphic design. Check what is the difference between web design and graphic design and if your core skill sets are of a graphic designer, that may be a better career path for you.


Consequently, it all depends on which career appeals more to your aptitude and your interest level and skillset.


Ques 2. Can a graphic designer become a web developer?

Ans. Yes, a graphic designer can learn and become a web developer, but they need technical and non-technical coding skills first.


Ques 3. Web designer vs. graphic designer salary: Who earns more web designer or graphic designer?


Ans. We all work for compensation. So, graphic design or web design which is better in terms of salary? You can expect to make around $45,000 annually as a graphic designer. If you are starting your career, you work in an entry-level job, which may earn you $39,311 per year. But some of the top graphic designers make around $53,000 per year.


On the contrary, the compensation for web designers is relatively higher. You can expect to make around $51,500 annually as a web designer. If you are starting your career, you may work in an entry-level job, earning you $43,000 pa. But some of the top graphic designers make around $64,000 per year.


Ques 4. Do graphic designers make websites?

Ans. A graphic design creates a mockup for the website, which presents what the final website will look like. Once you approve that, a web designer will take over and create a functioning website.


So, technically graphic designers don’t make the websites. They just help with the design aspect in bits and pieces. It is the Web developer who builds the website from scratch with design inputs from web designers.


To Sum Up Graphic Design Vs Web Design..

To summarize we can say that graphic design focuses on the graphical/pictorial/visual content of the site, video, blogs, Instagram or Facebook posts, etc. Graphic design is also used in multiple offline fields like for designing brochures, flyers, banners, etc. Whereas web design strictly covers the design aspect of a website.


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