Graphic Design Vs. Web Design …. What’s the Difference?

You may think design is design – get some graphics, a little text and a good eye for layout and you’re done. However, these two ways to design are very different from each other. Sure, a designer may be able to do both. But you want to make sure they know the difference. Because in the end, if they don’t understand – it will cost you time and money.

What is Graphic Design?

Everything in the design world out there started out as graphic design. Guys and gals head to school for design and learn how to place text and images on a flier, brochure, in a logo – in an attractive, artistic way. The possibilities are endless in graphic design. Text effects like shadows or swirls, font choices, layers – nothing really stops or holds back a graphic design. Except the end of the page, or space available to print. These designs are used for printed materials.

What is Web Design?

Well, web designs are found … on the web. Seems simple enough, except that designs for the web need to be approached differently. If your design will be displayed electronically – a website, a blog, an app, etc. – it’s web design. Web design is different from graphic desgin because the possibilities aren’t as endless here – nor do you want them to be. Sure, you don’t have a page size to work with. But, you do need to know your limitations, and what the search engines want to see. From a creative standpoint, the way you design needs to be more strategic. If you want a swirled text, it’s going to take more than it will on a brochure, and it won’t look the same. In fact, what it will really be is a graphic of a swirled text. And while you can design for web as if you’d design for print – it won’t work the same.

When designing for the web, you don’t only have to take into account the actual design – but you need to consider the search engines, too. Search engines don’t like websites that have graphic after graphic on each page. You need space for text. Text is what Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will “read” in order to index your site. If it’s picture after picture, it won’t really get the full idea. You need room for words to signal to the search engines what your site is all about.

Designers who do Web and Graphics

Your best bet, we think, is to work with a designer who understands both websites AND graphics. A designer who does websites will know how to present options that don’t only look good, but will work when building your website, too. A designer who does graphics will make an attractive logo, brochure, letterhead – and know how to sent it to the printer. A designer who does both will marry the two and give you a full package – without headaches. You’ll have a consistent brand that translates well on printed materials as well as the web.

Author Amanda Hall

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