Graphic Design vs. Web Design: What You Need to Know

Graphic Design vs. Web Design: What You Need to Know

Looking to launch a new career that allows you to work remotely, from your computer, anywhere in the world? Want to use your artistic skills to create something new?

If you have any artistic or design experience, then becoming a designer is one of the surest paths to remote work. But there are many different types of design jobs around, that require different skill sets, programs, and projects.

Graphic design vs web design, which should you choose? These are the two most popular roles in the design space, especially for those new to the remote work scene.

And while they are commonly compared to one another, they are two very different jobs. Wondering which one you should get into, and what the differences are between graphic design and web design? Keep reading below to see which area of design services you should pursue.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the more artistic form of design, regarding the two subjects at hand today. It’s the process of creating visual content that helps convey messages. In the past, graphic design was complete by hand, with tools like pencils and paintbrushes.

Today, the bulk of graphic design in the professional world requires the use of design software run on computers. Even though designs may be printed onto physical materials, like books or cereal boxes, it all starts on the computer where images and content can be manipulated and assembled in visually pleasing ways. 

Graphic design is very broad and can mean many different things. It includes things like design logos for brands. Graphic designers might design icons, book covers, or illustrations for instruction manuals.

It includes the design of packaging materials. Think of the cereal boxes mentioned above. On every side of the cereal box, there is text, images, and other important information, like serial numbers and expiration dates.

All of this information is organized by graphic designers who use design principles to organize information. They make it appealing to the eye and convince people to purchase a product. 

Graphic design is not art for art’s sake. Rather, it’s an art that conveys a message in a way that causes users or customers to take action. It’s a very important form of marketing. More than art, it’s about the customer experience.

And while it is artistically centered, it also incorporates elements like mathematics, psychology, and copywriting. 

What Is Web Design?

While graphic design is the process of creating assets, marketing materials, and visual representations of information, web design is the process of giving those assets a home.

Web design is all about designing and building websites. The goal of a web designer is to organize the information on a web page to be visually pleasing and easily digestible to the viewer. They want the user to get the information they need, and take the desired next step.

Web design is different from web development. A web developer is the one building the backend of the website, working with code to make a website function the way that it should. Developers work with the parts of the website that users don’t see.

A web designer works on the front end. Their goal is to make the front end of the website (the part that viewers can see) look really good. 

They decide on the layout of each web page, and how information should be organized. They determine the placement of buttons, the colors used, and the fonts used on the website.

Because the website is the foundation of most businesses around the world today, web design is also one of the most important methods of marketing. 

Graphic Design vs Web Design; Similarities and Differences

The goal of both graphic designers and web designers is simple; take information and make it visually appealing to users and customers.

However, the format and the medium used is different. Graphic designers create the assets and elements that are used on a variety of materials, from business cards to packaging, advertisements to physical products.

The assets created can also be used by web designers to create a unique, branded website. So graphic and web designers feed into one another, but they are fundamentally different roles.

Typically, companies that provide design services will specialize in one area or another. Graphic design and web design are two very different specialties, even though they share some overlap.

As such, new businesses will often work with graphic designers to develop their brand and visual presence, which can then be used on their various assets like packaging materials and business cards.

Web designers, like, will focus exclusively on designing and building a functioning website, utilizing the branding assets created by the graphic designer. 

Getting a Graphic Design or Web Design Job

So if you’re just getting started in the design space, which route should you take? It depends on what type of work you like doing, as well as how you want to work and how much you want to make.

Graphic designers earn an average of $45,000 to $55,000 per year. Web designers tend to make more, averaging around $68,000 per year. 

For both careers, the level of education and years of experience will determine your actual salary. The industry you choose to work in will also affect your salary, as is your specialty, should you choose to pursue one. 

With both careers paths, you can start out by taking entry-level positions for larger companies. The experience you gain working with others who are farther ahead of you is invaluable.

Many companies will hire remote designers or will allow you to work remotely part-time. If you ever want to branch out on your own, both graphic and web design makes for a popular freelance career. You can work for yourself, and set your own rates if you’re willing to go out and find your own clients. 

Working freelance offers the most flexibility, and often enables designers to travel full-time, or live where they want to live, rather than live in select big cities where the jobs are. 

Discover Your Next Career

Graphic design vs web design, now you know the differences between each career type. The best way to learn which path is right for you is to spend more time learning and experimenting with each.

You can sign up for a graphic design and web design class at a local college near you. Or you can take an online course, and try each one out for yourself to see which suits your personality best.

Ultimately, you should choose a skill that you enjoy more so than one that earns more money.

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