Over the years, web design has become a term used to refer to various disciplines from user interface designing, web document, and style sheet production to serious programming. Any activity that is involved in the creation of a web page has been rolled under this carpet. Like a busy housewife who takes care of all the chores at home but is said to be just house-keeping, a web- designer has many roles to play under their profession.

Web designing is an umbrella term that encompasses Design, Development, Multimedia, Content Strategy, and Creation. Graphic design is just one pillar under the design aspect of web designing squeezed between User Interface design and User Experience Design. While a layman may use web design and graphic design interchangeably, we see that the work done in these areas has grown to become much more specific and separate from each other.

While Web Designing and Graphic Designing lie on the spectrum of design and aim to make content aesthetically appealing to an audience. They are about as similar as sculpting is to painting in the traditional art world. They lie far apart when we consider the processes and outputs involved, like farming and icing a cake, which both are in the food industry but handle entirely different areas and require distinct skill sets. Let us go into the nitty-gritty details to understand both better.

What does Web Design involve?

Web Designing is an intricate task where the designer produces and maintains a web page and its various users. The design aspect involves arranging how a user will move through the site through Interaction Design, User Interface Design, and User Experience Design, and elements of Graphic or Visual Design. The more technical side includes Authoring or Markup, Styling, Scripting and Programming. Those that work in the former area are termed Frontend Designers with Interface, Information and Graphic Design through HTML and JavaScript, while the latter are Backend Developers who are experienced programmers that make scripts and programs to make the site interactive and dynamic through forms processing, database programming, and content management systems.

Web Designing also constitutes content or information strategizing. Every bit of text on a site, from the essays of content to labels on buttons, needs to reflect the ideology and outlook of the site owner’s identity. Multimedia design to embed various interactive elements like sounds, video, animation, and games is another area that can create interest in the site.

As you might have guessed, web designing is a long and complicated process that can involve many people. This team of people has greater expertise in their specializations, but anyone may be enough to work on a simple, personal website. They are also responsible for keeping up with the updates on the site. Managing the site members, making the virtual space lively and a place for more people to keep coming back to, all fall under their responsibility.

What is Graphic Design?

A graphic designer is responsible for giving a certain vibe and character to the web page. The look and feel that the user experiences is crucial in websites where visuals are the show’s star. Only if space is managed efficiently to give without cluttering and yet present a unified whole is a page elegant and pleasing to the eye.

Graphic Design is not limited to the virtual world and presents aplenty in the world around us, from the packaging of your new shoes to your favorite coffee mug. It can simplify an entire course subject’s complex content in a few pages or make a simple album name difficult to decipher. They combine pictures, symbols, and words in a blank space in the most catchy manner possible to communicate to the audience.

It is usually a solo job to design the graphics, and after this one-shot trial, the designer may make or break the feel of the site. The web designer then has to decide to go with it or otherwise after checking how it fits with the rest of the system already established. Simultaneously, a web designer has more freedom to plan the mood of a website and decide what fits where the graphic designer is usually given a specific set of instructions that describes the mood to be met.

Graphic Design vs Web Design

Some people refer to graphic designers that work exclusively on web pages as web designers. The web designing that I explained above would be web developing according to them. As I see it, web designers worry more about how things will fit together and are concerned about the overall experience, while a graphic designer designs the graphics for various clients as per their requirements and specifications. Web designing involves more technical aspects and content quality, while graphic designers aim to please the ‘viewers’.

I shall highlight the differences between graphic design vs web design based on two aspects,

  1. Functions
  2. Job responsibilities


The extent of functionality between these two roles is diverse. It involves different approaches to the same aspects, making their work even more interdependent while being exclusive at the same time.

Visual elements

The key point of difference here is the color mode of graphic design relies on printing; thus, it uses CMYK color mode. It is more focused on visual impact vs. web design that uses RGB, where it focuses more on teasing out the relationship between the information structures.

Presentation methods

Graphic designing has a more static presentation, which has strong integrity and more intuitive visual focus, whereas web designing includes more dynamic elements with comparatively weaker integrity as the more important information needs to be shown on the screen first.


Graphic designing relies on printing as well as different material and media, whereas web design involves back-end development, server applications, network signals, and other third-party resource support.

As an information carrier

The material media in graphic design could extend to paper, cloth which often associate with a strong reality, whereas web design is often limited to a screen.

The amount of information carried through graphic design is determined by the material size, whereas web design depends on HTML.

Browse mode

The browsing on graphic design is more rigid as it includes selection based on visual optics that are largely static, whereas, in web design, it is more of an interactive process that includes links that move to different browsers based on the clicks and commands by the user.

Job Responsibilities

There exists an important difference in the job responsibilities between a graphic designer and a web designer as one’s role would see art as a way to leverage technology and the other viewing technology as a way to leverage the art. As interdependent as these roles seem, they often require an objective outlook towards their responsibilities exclusive to each other in order to ensure mutual operation.

Web Designer

In a simpler sense, a web designer is a person who can design and produce websites.

Their role extends to covering many aspects such as the introduction of web content, the placement of buttons, the combination of words, the application of color, the use of guidance, etc.

Requirements for a web designer:-

    1. Have a mutual interaction with the audience.
    2. Apply an engineered approach to their designs.
    3. A more technical approach (coding, programming)
    4. Need to know how to design for versatile mediums (i.e., laptops, tablets, smartphones)
    5. Can develop and enhance their work overtime.
    6. Can catch web design trend predictions.
    7. Required skills in JavaScript, Jquery, PHP, web application development, UI design.

Graphic designer

The Graphic designer is required to visualize his content by paying attention to fonts, colors, and the optics of the content online. To achieve the creation purpose, graphic designers usually get focused on some professional skills such as font layout, visual art, page layout, and other aspects.

Requirements for a graphic designer:-

    1. Have a one-way relationship with their audience.
    2. More artistic role (involving sketch with a pen and paper)
    3. Emphasize visual theory in their designs.
    4. Must focus on how a design communicates a message to its audience.
    5. Need to know how each element of a design translates to print.
    6. Have one shot at getting a design right once it’s printed.
    7. Required skills in adobe creative suite, typesetting, concept development, marketing material, and use of graphic designing tools like Adobe Photoshop, adobe illustrator, and CorelDRAW.