What’s the difference between web design and graphic design and why does it matter?
I think of graphic design being more about logo design, business cards, typography in printed material and printed projects in general. Web design blends traditional graphic design components with digital publishing. Your website still needs a logo to be designed if you don’t have a print one to adapt and the typography on your site is as important as anything else.
If you’re going to hire a web designer to develop your site, you want to be sure they either have a strong graphic design skill set or have the know how to hire the right person for that aspect of the job. Your web designer might be great at the structural and technology components of the project but not necessarily be a graphic designer. Or, the opposite could be true. It’s absolutely crucial that you dial in the graphic design elements of site.
A logo immediately defines the identity of your brand. If you’ve got a logo developed for print it might need to be adapted for your website so that it “reads” strong online. It also needs to be adapted in different sizes and resolutions for things like favicons (the little image that appears in your browser bar when you’re visiting a web page) and your social media pages. The point is, don’t overlook the importance of graphic design in developing your website. The visual imagery is what will set your site apart and make it memorable.
Google fonts have made typography on websites so much more interesting. Until recently only a small handful of fonts were widely used across the web, namely for legibility and browser compatibility reasons. That’s all changed with the advent of Google fonts. Currently offering north of 1200 fonts which can easily be called into a web design on the fly, there’s plenty of originality to be had to make your site stand out and still satisfy browser compatibility issues.
You also may want to consider graphic design for your website starting with your website as the primary design vehicle. If you’ve got a website with a logo already and need to adapt it for, say, business cards, the design will likely need to be re-worked for that purpose while maintaining a consistent identity with your site.
The bottom line is don’t underestimate the importance of strong graphic design in your web design. They’re in the same family but each requires a particular set of skills and tools to be effective.