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Difference Between Web Designer & Graphic Designer

Web designers and graphic designers use their creativity to produce designs that clients can use for their organizations. While they have some similarities, these occupations have many differences. Learn more about each career option.

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Comparing Web Designers to Graphic Designers

Web designers work with clients to build a website and incorporate different designs that can be used on the website. Similarly, graphic designers can develop website designs, but they also produce designs that will be used in printed products, such as advertisements, brochures, and magazines. Read on to learn more about and compare these two occupations, including their education requirements, salary, and potential job growth.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Web Designer (Web Developers) Associate's Degree $66,130 27%
Graphic Designer Bachelor's Degree $47,640 1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Web Designers vs Graphic Designers

Web designers and graphic designers both rely on creativity and artistic skills to produce a design that will please a client. Individuals in both of these occupations develop their designs using computers, so they must have excellent computer skills. While graphic designers incorporate a client's or organization's information in online or printed form, web designers specialize in websites. Web designers are responsible for posting important information that a company or organization wants displayed online by focusing on the functionality of the site. Alternatively, organizations that use graphic designers typically want to advertise their business or convey a specific message to a specific audience in an artistic style.

Web Designer

Web designers work with other web developers to incorporate designs into the websites they are creating. They produce designs that are appealing to the client and will gain interest from customers. They also are responsible for the layout of the website to ensure visual appeal and easy navigation. They must keep graphics up to date and use modern designs throughout to catch the attention of users. In order for a website to work, web designers must be knowledgeable in coding and be detail oriented to ensure the HTML is done properly. Web designers can work on different parts of the website, as well as further their career and become a project manager.

Job responsibilities of a web designer include:

  • Creating applications for the website
  • Communicating with clients to produce a layout and design that fits their needs
  • Ensuring graphics relate to content of the website
  • Checking website traffic

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are responsible for creating a layout and design for clients wanting to advertise in multiple mediums. They must have artistic expertise to create appealing designs to market and sell, and their designs must be exclusive for the client they are working for. Graphic designers must be familiar with different software and computer programs to create the most up-to-date designs. They can further their career to become art directors or chief designers.

Job responsibilities of a graphic designer include:

  • Create logos for organizations and businesses
  • Understand use of different colors and fonts
  • Change designs based on feedback from clients
  • Check material before printing
  • Create designs that will feature the client's needs

Related Careers

Web developers may also consider a career as a multimedia artist as they also work on computers to produce different designs that can be used in the media including special effects. Graphic designers might like a career as an art director as they also work to design different layouts for printed media.

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