Web Graphic Designer Job Description
Web graphic designers decide how websites look, making choices about layout, fonts, and images to create usable and aesthetically pleasing websites. They may also work on individual page elements, such as logos or images, that are incorporated into the final design. The line between web graphic designers and web designers has grown increasingly blurred in recent years, and many web graphic designers now need foundational knowledge of web technologies like HTML and CSS.
Web graphic designers tend to work with teams of designers and developers to bring a website to life. They may also work closely with clients to determine design and graphical elements of websites.
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
- 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
Tools of the Trade
Web graphic designers tend to work in office settings, so they should be comfortable using standard office software and equipment in addition to the following:
- Image editing software (Adobe Photoshop)
- Programming software (Typescript, Atom.io)
- Version control (Jira, Git)
Web Graphic Designer Education and Training
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.
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
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