Are you naturally creative? Do you have a knack for thinking outside the box? Do your friends often come to you for tips on color palettes or accessorizing outfits?
If so, working in the design industry may be one way to turn your imagination and originality into a career. Because what could be better than earning a paycheck for something you’re already passionate about?
There are many specialties that fall under the umbrella of the design industry. For example, a fashion designer is different from a textile designer, which are both very different from an interior designer.
While they all share similarities, there are distinct differences in these fields. Understanding these distinctions is an important part of determining what type of career you’d like to pursue.
It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of each field in order to determine which best suits you and your personality. Conducting a little extra research now can help prepare you for success in the long run.
We created an infographic that outlines these two common—and commonly misunderstood—career paths.
Opinions from the experts …
Although aspects like job growth and salary potential are definitely important, they shouldn’t be the determining factors in your quest for the perfect career. After all, if you’re going to be investing 40-plus hours per week into this job, you might as well enjoy what you’re doing, right?
We got in touch with some professionals in both fields to hear their thoughts on the debate over graphic design versus web design. These thoughts came straight from industry experts, so consider them insider perspectives.
After gathering their thoughts, we broke them down into bite-sized chunks to make them easy to digest. These tidbits should help give you a better idea of which career suits you best.
Graphic designers …
- Put the art first
- Have a one-way relationship with their audience
- More artistic (i.e., sketch with a pen and paper)
- Emphasize visual theory in their designs
- Must focus on how a design communicates a message to its audience
- Need to know how each element of a design translates to print
- Have one shot to get a design right once it's printed
Web designers …
- See the art as a way to leverage technology
- Have a mutual interaction with their audience
- More technical (i.e., coding and programming)
- Employ an engineering approach to their designs
- Must predict how a design will make its audience feel and react
- Need to know how to design for versatile mediums (i.e, laptop, tablet, smartphone)
- Can develop and enhance their work over time
So after comparing graphic design versus web design on multiple levels, you should be able to confidently determine the field in which you’ll excel. Once you decide which creative path you’re interested in traveling, take a moment to learn more about the education that can jumpstart your journey.
Check out our other posts for even more insight about what it takes to be a successful graphic designer or web designer. You can also download our free Design Career Outlook for more info on these design careers and others!
- Ashley Schwartau, multimedia production director at The Security Awareness Company
- Brian Dean, internet marketer at Backlinko
- Nancy Cleary, graphic designer/publisher at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing Inc.
- Paige Kelly, graphic design student/intern at Imaginovation
- Sarah Hicks, web designer/owner of Sarah Lynn Design
- Stephanie Kronlage, graphic designer at Lessing-Flynn Advertising