What Are the Differences Between Web Design & Graphic Design?

You may have encountered the terms web design and graphic design before, but do you know the differences between them?

Perhaps you think they are interchangeable. While both terms refer to types of design, each has a distinct meaning and function.

Here, we’ll help you understand the difference between these two disciplines by explaining what they are, what they do, and how they differ.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the art and practice of preparing, arranging, and presenting a communication medium, including graphic objects and images, in a planned way to convey information effectively. The term often refers to the output of a design professional working with these disciplines.

Graphic designers combine symbols, images, and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography and visual arts such as photography or illustration—or they may rely on the power of words alone.

What is Web Design?

Web design is a set of skills and techniques used to create websites. The term describes developing a website’s structure, content, and visual aspects. Web designers may use different coding languages or software to produce web pages.

Web designers are responsible for the site’s visual look, from graphics to images to text. They can also be responsible for the interactivity and usability of a site.

Difference Between Graphic Design and Website Design

To help you understand these two disciplines better here’s a breakdown of the key differences between web design and graphic design.

  1. Web Designers Create Websites, While Graphic Designers Create Images

Web designers create websites, while graphic designers create all the images — including logos — that go on websites. The website itself is just one piece of the puzzle that goes into creating an image for a brand, but it’s the most important piece because it’s what customers see first when they visit your site.

  1. Web Designers Develop the Look and Functionality of Your Website

Graphic designers create the look and feel of your website’s interface — its overall appearance and functionality — but web designers take it further by ensuring that everything works well together. They also develop your website’s overall structure and navigation system so that users can easily find what they’re looking for on your site.

  1. Graphic Designers Work With Images, Not Code

Graphic designers use software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create visual elements such as logos, illustrations, and icons for websites. Web designers use HTML code to make those same elements — but only after they’ve been approved by a graphic designer who has done their mock-up in Photoshop or Illustrator first.

  1. Graphic Designers Work Solely With Visual Elements

Graphic designers work solely with visual elements such as color, shape, and texture. They don’t work with the HTML code that forms your website’s structure, navigation system, or content.

  1. Graphic Designers Have No Responsibility for the User Experience

The user experience is the overall satisfaction a site visitor has with your website. It includes things like ease of navigation, content organization, and accessibility features. A graphic designer may have some suggestions regarding these issues, but they aren’t responsible for making changes that improve the user experience.


Web design and graphic design are both forms of visual communication. Web designers create the user interface for websites, while graphic designers create logos, brochures, and other visuals for print media. While both types of designers may have similar skills, many differences between web design and graphic design set them apart.

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