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Both graphic design and web design require presenting the ideas or concepts from the clients to the viewers through visual communications by using images, layouts and typography. Therefore, it is crucial to have basic knowledge of design fundamentals and keep up to date with the latest design trends for both fields. Besides that, it is essential to possess creative problem-solving skills as both require translating the ideas but with a different medium. For example, graphic design solves creative problems through branding, social media ads or printed materials to pass the information to the viewers. However, a well-designed website acts as a perfect web design solution to educate the audience. To ensure portraying the correct concept of the brand to the customers either by using graphic design or web design, you should consider the potential buyer, the clients’ requirements and the ultimate goals. Before we dive deeper into the main differences between these two designs, let’s understand the basic meaning of Graphic Design and Web Design! 

What is Graphic Design? 

Graphic design is a creative process of using images, illustrations and typography to visually represent and communicate ideas or concepts. Technically speaking, graphic design requires using design elements like colour theory, typography, layout and visual hierarchy to create their design work. All graphic designers are familiar with this particular software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, which allow them to manipulate their work using all the design elements needed. Previously, graphic designers work on printed material like brochures, book covers, packaging, posters and magazines. But nowadays, you can find the graphic design on digital projects like social media ads and email, among other things.

What is Web Design? 

Web design is a creative process of designing a website using colour theory, typography, layout and visual hierarchy to create the visual look and communicate the ideas. Unlike graphic design that works on both printed and digital projects, web design only works on the website. Therefore, you have to consider a few things like image resolution and file size to ensure your designs work well when converted to a running website using programming. Programming languages like CSS, HTML, PHP and JavaScript are common and essential skills among web designers. As a web designer, you have to concern about the user experience, how the website looks like and its content, the technical computer related like speed and performance when designing a website. 

The main differences between graphic design and web design 

So now, you have a basic understanding of graphic design and web design, let’s discuss the main differences between these two. 

1.Visual elements 

Visual elements are one of the most prominent aspects that can differentiate graphic design and web design, such as font, colour and graphics. For example, you can freely choose fonts in graphic design as all text will appear when graphic printing and avoid concerns about the final effect. However, things are different for web designs. Due to only the default fonts of the user operating system may work and some of the fonts are not supported, it is better to use the safe fonts. Other than fonts, the usage of colour mode is different for graphic design and web design. Graphic design uses CMYK mode as it is focusing more on the visual impact of the printed materials. But somehow, web design relying on RGB colour due to its special imaging mode to avoid overwhelmed users with plenty of striking colours on the websites. In terms of the unit sizes of the graphic, physical sizes like centimetres and inches are standard in graphic design. But in web design, pixel dimensions play a big part in the quality of the graphic. 

2.Size limitations 

I bet you would agree that there are limitations in any creative work, whether graphic design or web design. As a graphic designer, you must work within the limited dimensions according to the material medium like a post on Instagram, printed material, billboard or even apparel. As a result, the amount of information or whether small or big a graphic depends on the standard size of the material medium itself. However, bear in mind that there are no second updates once published or printed. Unlike graphic designers, web designers have to work within limitless dimensions on the screen. Therefore, the amount of information is infinite, an update is possible, and you can correct any errors or make any changes if needed.  

3.Presentation methods 

We all aware that graphic design is static and permanent, while web design is a dynamic and interactive medium. In graphic design, there is only one way of interacting, which is by viewing it. Unlike graphic design, web design offers infinite possibilities in user experience as it involves the users and not just the viewers of the design. Therefore, web designers try to focus on how the users could interact with the website and get involved in the design functionality. You get to click the buttons, view a video, navigate different web pages, and even explore the motion graphics. With these buttons and scroll bars, you get to scroll either up or down and browse more information than the graphic users. Graphic design is progressive and presenting it in series is not possible. In terms of visual focus in graphic design, it is more intuitive and has strong integrity. On the other hand, web design has weaker integrity due to limitations of the screen and can only show the priority information on the first screen. 

4.The type of information spreading 

Typically, the graphic design spreads through non-digital ads and marketing, sales, posting, mail delivery and printing to reach the consumers and persuade them to make purchases. However, this approach has limited spreads and high costs, while web design provides a strong dissemination ability with third party support. In addition to that, graphic design has a wide range of viewers of all ages compared to web design which is not suitable for everyone. But, with the increasing popularity of online information and media user experience improvements, more people get to accept and access the website.