Marrying GFX and Web Development – My Experience

Did you know that people have scratched their heads at the definition of graphic design for years? Many aren’t aware of the key differences that separate graphic design from the other designers, which can cause key market changes. In the 21st century the most influential designers are the ones that design our webpages. With the lines blurring, graphic designers are now expected to also have knowledge of creating web sites.

Graphic designers nationwide have started adopting web into their arsenals. Despite the change there is still a key difference between graphic and web designers. “Graphic” designers style using minimal code with aesthetics and relevance in mind. Web designers use code such as HTML, CSS, etc. to create fully functional sites from the ground up. It is recommended as a graphic designer that you get a hold of  basic web coding knowledge – it gives you an edge.

My journey creating sites began at Grand Circus, a Detroit based coding academy. I spent week after week working on the basics of HTML and CSS. I’ve had my breakthrough moments, but I would regularly find myself falling short of really creating something functional. My sites were “skeletal” at best. As it turns out, you can get very far knowing the code, but a keen eye for design is necessary in order to maintain flow and visual consistency.

At my alma mater I had been introduced to the use of Content Management Systems. They hold the framework for a fully built site, while hosting an array of styling choices. A CMS can help create quick and functional websites without heavy maintenance. Learning how to implement a CMS really helped me juggle styling with functional web development (my own flair salted to taste as well). I have seen many in action like WIX, Squarespace, Tumblr, WordPress, and all of them are stunning with great functionality.

With my new knowledge I could code, but also use my creative skills to their fullest, combining web and graphic design. If you happen to feel limited when making a site as a graphic or web designer, getting a Content Management System could give you the best of both worlds.

The Author

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson

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