What's the difference?

Graphic Designer vs Web Designer

By Jozzelle De Jesus | Published on 2023/02/28 at 6:35 am

Ever been confused between a Graphic Designer vs a Web Designer? In this short article, we’ll help explain the difference between the two.

What is a graphic designer?

A graphic designer, as google will tell you, is “a person who combines text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” They work on design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. This is a very broad term to mean a lot of roles that can be refined a few different ways; a web designer is one of them. Some graphic designers may focus mainly on print while others may veer towards web or animation. It is important to understand that different designers will have varying experiences when it comes to design. They can have experience in both print or web but most graphic designers are relating to print design. A good habit to do is to ask a graphic designer what they specialise in so you know whether they are the right fit for your project.

What is a web designer?

A web designer on the other hand, is a sub-form of graphic design which has evolved along with the internet. They have technical skills and understands how HTML works along with other web coding languages. This is still a creative role without web development, but it certainly helps to find someone who can. This type of designer focuses on User Interface and User Experience for websites which will have it’s own technicalities that are different from print design. They may not have much experience in print designs or software but may instead have in-depth experience in web languages and can sometimes do the work of a front-end developer.

Can a web designer be a graphic designer and vice-versa?

Yes, they technically can. However, this depends on the individual designer’s preference. Some graphic designers prefer to focus on printing whilst others may love web designing and development. This preference in career helps an employer find the right graphic designer for the job.

Here's an example.

You want to publish your own book and need a graphic designer for the job. You are presented with two people:
  • Jane Prints – Specialises in print media and have worked with creating manuscripts, documentation, and children’s books. She has no experience in website design or development.
  • Joe Web – Specialises in web design, UX/UI, and have created numerous websites and digital banners for a marketing agency.
Both are considered graphic designers but only Joe Web would be able to call himself a web designer. You’ll probably need Jane Prints to create your book if you want a more efficient turnaround. You can probably try and ask Joe Web about web development after publishing your book.

If you’re lucky enough, you may even come across some graphic designers who have experience in both print and web design. Alternatively, if you’re currently pursuing a career in graphic design, a good career move could be to aim for a range of skill sets that can set you apart from other designers.

If this article helped you or you simply want an expert advice on this topic, feel free to send a message to hello@e-studios.com.au


Jozzelle De Jesus

Multimedia Designer

Jozzelle has been working professionally in the graphic design area since 2006 and tackled freelance design and animation since 2011. She has acquired a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Animation) back in 2012 and completed a Cert IV in Training and Assessment in 2013. These days, she teaches graphic design with RTO's whilst she continues her work with current clients. If you would like to work with Jozzelle, please email hello@e-studios.com.au