How is a web designer different from a graphic designer?
Web design is a vibrant environment.
Comparing web design and graphic design is like comparing an iPad with a picture. Both show beautiful visual effects, but one is interactive and the other can just be watched.
Graphic design originates in print. Whether it’s a magazine layout or a children’s book, printed materials are generally less interactive than their digital counterparts. But they still depend on the artistic assembly of images, text and other graphics to tell a story or convey a message. There should be a flow and logic of navigation through printed materials.
Web design shares the same roots as the visual design discipline, but the main focus on the web is how design can create an experience with which people can interact and participate, rather than just consume. A web designer can work with a graphic designer for visual elements such as illustrations and iconography, but the web designer will then put all these pieces together to create a complete interactive design – something usable.
And the website will have different ways that users can go — web designers need to make sure that users understand and can achieve their goals. They understand how navigation elements, call-to-action buttons, and other interactive elements guide, influence, and enhance the user’s journey.
Web designers care about download times and file sizes.
Web designers care about ideas and aesthetics, but also about optimization. Images, moving graphics, animations and other graphic elements should look good and be light enough so that they can be quickly downloaded to all devices. Long download times result in poor user experience and high bounce rates.
The only time graphic designers can take care of file size is when they try to place a large banner ad in the back of their compact car.
Web designers have typographic barriers
Graphic designers can use almost any font without worrying about how it will be displayed in the final result. Web designers, however, need to consider how text will be displayed on different screens and in different browsers.
Fortunately, adding the @ font-face rule to CSS allows us to expand the selection of fonts. And add-ons like Adobe Typekit and Google Fonts give web designers a wider range of typography for creativity.