Differences and Main Points Between Web Design and Graphic Design


Is web design and graphic design any similar?

It may not seem like it at a first glance, but there is a specific difference between graphic and web design, that determines the main focus of a designer's work. It’s good to understand which professional will be the most useful for your particular project. In this article, we’ll find out exactly what the difference between web design and graphic design is. 

There are two modes of creative communication that are easily confused with each other and sometimes used interchangeably – wrongly so – and those are, of course, web and graphic design. There are some core skills, that set the base of work for both field professionals, but there is also quite a distinction to make.

Web design determines the look of a website. This is what is also called UI – user interface, and it is tied directly not only to the visual presentation of a web page but to its functional principles and restrictions as well. You can check the best website design.

UI user interface

Graphic design involves more artistry. In marketing, a graphic designer works on visual promoting material, banners, flyers, or brochures. Those can be used both online and physically, popping up as an ad on a website or being printed on a billboard, for example.

graphic design

There is definitely a certain overlap in web and graphic designs: both involve making use of composition principles, working with fonts, and colors. There are technical skills in working with certain graphic editors, like Photoshop or Figma. There is also the need for a good understanding of a consumer that will interact with a design. But it is also where some main differences in graphic and web designing lie.

Let’s take a closer look.

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Main features of web design

In a comparison of web vs. graphic design, let’s determine the core features of web design first:

1. It is entirely digital

Web design is geared towards online interactions. This dictates certain restrictions, for example, large image sizes will be slow to load. UX, or user experience, is a base for UI design: a website must have a comprehensive structure, good navigation, and suited interactive elements. 

2. There’s a method to visual chaos

Layout structures are very important. Most of the websites are adapted for mobile users, which means there is a need to adapt a design layout also. It doesn’t only need to look good visually, web design needs to have a cohesive look throughout all pages, and needs to be optimized for different screen resolutions and sizes.

3. It needs to be functional

In a comparison of web design vs. graphic design, interactivity and reactivity are major parts of a web app’s functionality, so a web designer needs to work with them well. What are images, infographics, and UI elements presented on a website? Motion graphics and animations are also a big part of it, and improve the website’s visuals greatly, as well as user experience.

4. There’s a programming part

Of making web design functional, one needs strong knowledge of CSS and HTML. Or to work with service platforms like Webflow. Or in close collaboration with developers, that will handle the coding part. Still, it is technical, and those skills cannot be overlooked.

5. Nothing is permanent

Website development is often an ongoing project, where certain aspects need to be updated and changed, so there is a potential for a web designer to keep in touch with clients for a long collaboration. Not to mention, websites need re-designing at least every few years, to keep up with trends and stay relevant.

adaptive design

And what about graphic design?

So in comparison of graphic design vs. web design, these are the main principles of graphic design:

1. Can be digital, can be printed

An advertisement banner a designer created can be published online or can be printed to be distributed physically. This depends on a project's goals and finding a suitable solution. 

digital and printed design

2. Let lose your creativity

Graphic design is a creative field. The more fresh ideas you have, the more unique and eye-catching a design will be. There are some restrictions, involving image resolutions and file types, but overall, there is a lot of room for artistry as well.

eye-catching a design

3. Solves a problem

If a client, for example, wants to present their brand in a certain way, graphic design is here to solve this. It needs to meet a client's needs first, and be attractive second. Even if a design looks great, it won’t bring a useful impact if the idea is misplaced.

4. Graphic editors are your best friend

Hard skills that graphic designers need to have involved working with graphic editors. These differ according to needs, be that Photoshop, Illustrator, or After Effects, for example. The better you learn your editor of choice, the smoother the work will go.

Graphic editors

5. Projects are finite

Once a project is finished, the design is finished too. If a client wants to change the look of something afterwords, this will kick off a new project, with complete re-designs and doing the work anew. 

So what to choose – web or graphic design?

By this point in the article, you probably have a general understanding of the difference between graphic design and web design. Let’s compare the main features of both side by side.

difference between web design and graphic design

Final thoughts

In the question of choosing web design or graphic design, all depends on the purposes of a project.

A web designer will create an engaging UI for a website, and an attractive look for webpages, basing the work on UX architecture. A graphic designer works with both digital media and printed, creating promotional materials, brand stationery, and other creative products. Unlike web design, which is interactive and dynamic and calls for regular updates and changes, the work of a graphic designer on a project ends, when the product is finished.

So when choosing a designer, make sure to determine, what your project needs, to choose the right provider.

Warmdevs – your trusted partner to create any type of design

The WarmDevs company has vast experience in creating unique designs with clean, modern-looking visuals and creative motion graphics. Our web designers worked on numerous projects in a variety of different fields, so we are accustomed to finding the best solutions suited for specific needs and providing Webflow website development services

WarmDevs helps your website stand out and present your services in a simple and engaging way. We pay close attention to our client's needs, and our team always makes sure to find a personal approach to each project.

Feel free to browse some of our work in our Case studies section, where we present the projects we’ve completed, what challenges we faced, and what solutions we’ve come up with: Celsia, Basetwo, Metasaviors.

We have a solid team of 30+ professionals and a decade of experience. We love what we do, we are good at it, and we are excited to hear from you!


Can graphic designers do web design?

The base of core knowledge is very similar: working with layout composition, combining fonts, color schemes, and design elements. But web design requires additional skills in understanding website interactivity, user experience, optimizing the loading time of a web page, and similar.

Does web design require coding?

Web designers work in a team with frontend developers, and after the visual part of UI is done by a designer, a developer works on the coding part, transforming web pages from visual to functional.

Which is easy graphic design or web design?

It is not hard to learn graphic design skills, but it takes certain knowledge of visual trends and creativity to become a good specialist. Web design is more technical, and requires close work with web programming and coding.

Which is easy graphic design or web design?
Which is easy graphic design or web design?
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It is not hard to learn graphic design skills, but it takes certain knowledge of visual trends and creativity to become a good specialist. Web design is more technical, and requires close work with web programming and coding.

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