A designer should design your website – simple, right? Not quite. There are many different kinds of designers and I don’t mean in terms of style. The two main designer types I am referring to are graphic designers and web designers. While many people think that a graphic designer can handle anything involving digital aesthetic from business cards to websites, this isn’t always the case. While the goal here is not to say graphic designers are useless, designing for the web is a completely different beast than designing for print.
So what is the difference between graphic and web design?
The first difference is the most obvious – a physical piece compared to a digital piece on a computer screen. With graphic design, you end up with a physical piece like a brochure or business card while a website is on a computer screen. With a print piece, a person looks at it, reads it and that’s it. With a website, the user can interact by clicking links, filling out forms, etc. A web designer needs to make sure that all elements of a website are usable – meaning people don’t get confused about how to interact with the website. A graphic designer never needs to worry about this except for making sure any text is legible.
Graphic and web design have very different restrictions. Graphic design is usually limited by the size of the brochure, business card, etc. and the designer knows exactly how to accommodate a design into his restrictions. With a website, every visitor views it from their unique setup of operating system, browser and monitor size meaning there are literally hundreds of variations a web designer needs to consider. A web design needs to be built using HTML so it renders in browsers properly and there are design decisions that need to be made because not every design can be built into a website. Also, when the site is built, if it is overly graphic it may require a lot of images and thus a long download time for users – something that causes poor usability and thus a poor website.
Here at AshWebStudio, we are web designers first and graphic designers second. Do we offer graphic design services? Yes, but typically only to our web design clients who like working with us and are comfortable with our process. We also tend to price our graphic design projects accordingly since it is not our primary service.