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Web Graphic Designer Duties and Responsibilities

The specific duties of a web graphic designer can vary between organizations, but most share several responsibilities:

Design and Layout Page Elements One of the primary responsibilities of a web graphic designer is designing and placing elements on a web page, which can include logos and images as well as textual elements. The web graphic designer may create a mockup or wireframe using image editing software and work with developers and programmers to transform this wireframe into a functional website. In some cases, the web graphic designer may also write the website's code.

Edit Images for Websites Web graphic designers also edit images that are used on websites. This aspect of the job can involve resizing and cropping images, correcting colors, and ensuring that images are correctly formatted and optimized for mobile and desktop web browsers. In addition, the web graphic designer may create images from scratch and save them as vector images that can be repurposed throughout the site.

Meet Directly with Clients Web graphic designers meet directly with clients to determine website specifications and collaborate on its overall design and aesthetic. During this process, the web graphic designer may create sketches showing the overall flow of each page and ask questions regarding image placement, font choices, and other elements that will contribute to the look of the pages and drive user engagement.

Collaborate with Developers Throughout the design process, web graphic designers work closely with developers to ensure that front-end and back-end elements work together as expected. The web graphic designer may provide notes on usability and functionality from the client and discuss how to integrate the client's needs with back-end technologies and functions while also determining how the page's architecture will work with elements like images, text, and navigation menus.

Test and Deploy Websites Web graphic designers also test websites for usability and ensure that page elements are present and functional when the site goes live. They may load the website in a number of different browsers to ensure that the look of the page is consistent in all of them and access the site on a phone or tablet to ensure that it is readable and functional on mobile browsers.


Web Graphic Designer Skills and Qualifications

Web graphic designers create the look and feel of a website, deciding on layout, colors, and images. Companies tend to hire applicants with at least a bachelor's degree and the following skills:
  • Composition - web graphic designers need excellent composition skills to determine where to locate page elements and balance the overall look and flow of the page
  • Typography - familiarity with typographical principles and practices is also essential in this role, as the web graphic designer needs to consider font choices and sizes and how they work within the page
  • Image editing - in this role, web graphic designers frequently make changes to a page's images that range from cropping and resizing to optimizing images for desktop or mobile browsers
  • Web coding - web graphic designers manipulate a page's CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code to change how the page looks and behaves, so they should have a strong grasp of these web coding languages
  • Communication skills - written and verbal communication are both vital in this role, as web graphic designers need to collaborate with design and development teams and communicate with clients

Web Graphic Designer Education and Training

Web graphic designers tend to have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, which can include web design. Graphic design experience, whether working for a creative agency or within a larger organization's design department, is also very helpful for increasing job prospects. Because web designers primarily work on the front end of websites, they should be familiar with coding elements like HTML and CSS. Familiarity with JavaScript is also very helpful, and many companies prefer to hire web graphic designers who are familiar with all three of these technologies.

Web Graphic Designer Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web designers earn a median annual salary of $67,990. While this role also includes web designers who work with the nongraphical elements of a website, the changing nature of the web graphic designer's role means they need to work with code elements like HTML and CSS rather than strictly using graphic design software. The highest-paid 10 percent of web designers earn more than $122,320 per year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earn less than $36,830. The BLS expects employment for web designers to grow at a faster-than-average pace of 15 percent by 2026, compared to the 4 percent growth projected for graphic designers as a whole.

Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found many resources if you'd like to learn more about working as a web graphic designer:

"The Top 10 Principles of Effective Web Design" - read this blog post to gain an understanding of web design and development and how a page's elements work together to balance utility and presentation

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design: Designing Great Web Sites Is Not Rocket Science! - this book explores how many elements of web graphic design, from color to layout, determine how a user experiences a website

"Web Design Elements: Examples and Best Practices" - this blog post explores a number of elements that go into web design and discusses how to create elements that look good while providing a high level of functionality

Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics - read this book to learn about the core technologies behind web design and development on computers and mobile devices

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