Graphic design and its role in web development

May 30, 2022
min read
Graphic design and its role in web development
Darya Jandossova Troncoso
Darya Jandossova Troncoso

Graphic design plays a critical role in communicating an idea or brand story in a valuable way. Arranging visual elements on a company’s website is essential for converting new customers, boosting brand awareness, and elevating the user experience. 

This article dives into everything you must know about graphic design and its role in web development.

Let’s Start With the Basics: What is Graphic Design? 

Graphic design is the process of organizing a project’s visual elements. These components are present in multiple settings, including a magazine layout, product packaging, and promotional marketing materials. 

Many professionals use principles of design in their daily tasks. 

Whether color-coding an Excel spreadsheet or adding a logo to a document, graphic design will be helpful to your career path. Having a basic understanding of the practice will only make you more versatile.

The Goal of Graphic Design

The primary goal of graphic design is to enhance, transform, or convey a message. 

Graphic redefines an idea for people of all learning styles.

It also provides value to the end-user, allowing them to make a purchase and learn new information. Effective graphic design can also evoke emotions in people and incentivize them to make a purchase decision.

The Elements of Graphic Design

The essential elements and principles of graphic design are straightforward. The components below work together to communicate a meaningful idea or enhance a brand:

  • Line – lines exist in almost all designs, whether short, long, thick, thin, curved, or straight. Lines help organize an image, divide a space, or redirect a viewer’s attention.
  • Shape – a shape is a collection of lines that can make a circle, square, triangle, rectangle, or other forms. Shapes have universal meaning and reinforce ideas to the viewers. For example, a square can represent the structure, while a circle can mean community or togetherness.
  • Color – color is one of the most vital components of a design because it can apply to backgrounds, lines, shapes, and typography. Colors are also big mood triggers, like green for nature and red for passion.
  • Typography – Typography is the relationship between a text and the word it communicates. Graphic designers analyze how a font can enhance a message and how it integrates into a design.

Graphic Design Best Practices

Whether you are an expert graphic designer or use these visual design elements sparingly, there are some critical behaviors you must understand. No matter how you engage with graphic design, the most important thing is to provide value.

Maximize the Power of Typography

The fonts emphasize an idea or highlight critical topics within the design. Creative typography can boost learning and retention, but it can also personify an idea. 

You should only use two or fewer font types as you create a design. Secondly, limit the font size to 14-16 pixels when typing out the body of a text. Lastly, utilize font types that are easy to understand and read.

Balance Your Colors and Use Them Tastefully

Color has the unique ability to spark emotions in most viewers who look at the design. With great power comes great responsibility for the graphic designer. Visualize your ideal outcome with the viewer, and then mix in color palettes that support that emotion or feeling.

Increase Learning Retention With Organized Layouts

The goal of graphic design is to enhance a message. However, you also want the message to be clear and understandable. A balanced graphic design layout will put the viewer’s mind at ease. When a graphic design is organized and seamless, it is also easier to retain the information.

More Cohesiveness, Less Clutter

One of the biggest challenges with graphic design is deciding what to include. It is best to favor cohesiveness rather than clutter. A proper set of visuals make the design dynamic. Elements like icons, images, graphics, and lines will help achieve this goal.

You should lean toward clear, high-quality imagery when you mix in your visuals. 

When the viewers look at the visuals within the design, they should immediately know what it is. They should spend less time deciphering a photo and more time consuming the main message.

Keep Your Audience in Mind

The most important thing to consider is the viewer. The main goal of graphic design is to enhance the message for the final user: the viewer. Everything you add to the design should provide value to the viewer.

Think about what emotions you want the consumer to feel. From there, every line, color, shape, texture, and typography should support those emotions. Graphic design should not only spark the intended emotions but should also incentivize the viewer to act in a meaningful way.

Graphic Design vs. Web Design

You should also know the concept of web design because of its role in graphic design. 

Web design is designing the identity, look, and feel of a company or brand website

A web designer orchestrates the website’s user experience, content, images, videos, and layouts. The goal is to communicate a meaningful story about a brand and provide solutions to incoming traffic visitors.

As you can see, graphic design activities also support the goal of web design. However, what are the crucial differences between graphic design and web design?

  • Skill requirements – web designer roles typically require more technical skills like CSS, HTML, and other coding languages. With graphic design, you can customize your message with few limitations.
  • Web design is constantly changing – a website’s design can always be tweaked or adjusted later. However, graphic design with a poster or book cover is final.
  • Web design’s interactive element – online users or website visitors will have different experiences depending on what pages they visit or buttons they click. On the other hand, graphic design is limited and less interactive.

Where Does Graphic Design Fit Into Web Development?

The process of web development is something that the best brands will perfect. Graphic design plays a big role in these activities, and the creative professionals will deploy it in a meaningful way.

Your graphic designer skill set will elevate the value of the website to all its users. 

Not only does it provide meaningful information to customers and prospects, but it can also produce more revenue for your company. A well-designed website can collect leads for a future email list. It can also be a centralized hub where people can subscribe to your service or buy your products.

Graphic design plays a pivotal role in guiding incoming users toward your ideal goal with the website. 

Your web development process will be successful if you can utilize graphic design to boost visual appeal, strengthen brand recognition, enhance user experiences, connect with the target audience, raise engagement levels, and realize more conversions.

How Does Graphic Design Benefit Your Web Development?

If you effectively implement more graphic design into your web development, here are some of the short- and long-term results a web developer can expect when partnering with a graphic designer (or using their own graphic design skills & knowledge).

Increased Visual Appeal

Graphic design blends the elements of color, shapes, lines, and space to enhance a visual appeal. As visitors navigate through your website, you want them to be in a positive state of mind. The arrangement of visual elements is a big part of graphic design. 

You will achieve your business goals if you can organize your website elements seamlessly.

Improved Brand Recognition

A solid web development process will establish consistency with the graphic design. While each page may be different, the color scheme and graphic design should have familiarity. Users should have a clear idea of what your website conveys through visual communication. That way, they can recognize your brand when they see it in other settings.

Enhanced User Experience (UX)

When visitors navigate away from your website, what is the chance they return? A sound graphic designer will have a tried and true web development process that ties everything together. 

The graphic design elements will optimize the user’s journey through your website. Therefore, the user experience design will be elevated.

Easier to Reach Your Target Audience

Effective graphic design utilizes colors and shapes that tailor toward your target audience. When you establish consistency across the website with this graphic design, you will attract your ideal type of customer. 

Whether it is through visual elements, motion graphics, SEO, web design, or capitalizing on design trends, you can drive more qualified traffic to your site.

Higher Engagement Levels

A strong website will have multiple ways to engage with it. Users should be able to research new information, act on their decisions, and interact with your visual elements in different ways. Users will stick around for longer when a website’s user interface is pleasing to look at.

Higher Conversion Rates

All of the previously mentioned elements will contribute to every company’s goal: conversion. If people feel like it’s easy to navigate your website, if they feel connected to your brand, their likelihood of buying your product is much higher.   


It is no secret that graphic design trends are constantly changing. If you are looking to create functional yet beautiful websites, you must stay up to date with these trends.

As you can see, graphic design plays a huge role in web development, particularly when it comes to its aesthetics. 

Although the power of aesthetics shouldn’t be underestimated. If you get this right, you’ll be engaging and converting users in no time.

About the author:

Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist, and writer working on her first novel and managing a digital marketing blog - MarketSplash. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, creating art, and learning everything there is to know about digital marketing.

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