7 Reasons Why a Graphic Designer Can’t Design a Website

The title of this article is going to make some graphic designers very angry with me but please keep reading. If you’re looking to have your website designed, asking a graphic designer to do the job is not a good idea. Why? Because designing for web and designing for print are two very different experiences. Web design is not just about design, but also development. Here are seven reasons why you should not choose a graphic designer for web design:

Reason #1: Graphic Designers Put the Art First

Web designers see the art as a way to leverage technology. The graphics are just one aspect of a website. While the look of a site is important, the function, ease of use, and optimization is arguably more important. Ugly websites that get straight to the point often perform better than complex, beautiful websites. Art and design is important, but the website must be looked at as a whole.

Reason #2: Graphic Designers Have a One-Way Relationship with Their Audience

Web designers have a mutual interaction with their audience. Of course, this does not refer to every single graphic design case, but in web design, it is paramount that the designer works closely with their client to discuss the purpose of the site. This relationship is also important because the client may later be in charge of the content management system that holds their website together, allowing them to continue adding content and maintaining the website.

Reason #3: Graphic Designers Work with Artistic Tools

Web designers work with more technical aspects like coding and programming. Design alone is not enough for a website. The coding, the backbone of the site, must be smooth, minimal, and optimized for speed and functionality. Any graphics must fit the limitations of the framework.

Reason #4: Graphic Designers Emphasize Visual Theory in Their Designs

Web designers employ an engineering approach to their designs. Again, priority is given to minimalism, ease of use, and function.

Reason #5: Graphic Designers Must Focus On How a Design Communicates Its Message to Its Audience

Web designers must predict how a design will make its audience feel and react. Everything about a good website strategically leads and points the user to one call of action. It’s not just design and graphics that do this, but also content, layout, and interactivity. These things may all be tweaked later with split testing but it’s important that your designer understands how all of these elements work together.

Reason #6: Graphic Designers Need To Know How Each Element of a Design Translates To Print

Web designers need to know how to adapt a design for laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These are very different mediums and making a website that looks nice on a PC doesn’t mean it’s going to look great on mobile or even a different version of a web browser.

Reason #7: Graphic Designers Have One Shot to Get a Design Right Once It’s Printed

Web designers can develop and enhance the exact same piece of work over time.

Graphic designers and web designers can work together, but someone with only graphic design experience may not be suitable to design your website. An amazing design that looks great on paper will not necessarily translate well to a website.


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