The field of graphic design used to be a reasonably straightforward field. However, as technology has advanced, the expectations and demands on graphic designers has grown considerably. Just look at any jobs board or employment listing and you will see that employers want people who can double as web developers. However, the old saying, jack-of-all-trades, master of none holds true. Sure, it may be a good idea for graphic designers to have a baseline knowledge of a common coding language like HTML. However, graphic design is still designing. A designer still needs to stay proficient in his or her field and constantly work to improve on the skills of a graphic design. Knowing some basic code will help make you more marketable, but don’t sacrifice your name as a graphic’s expert to become a jack of all trades for an employer.
The line between web design and development has become somewhat blurred as graphic designers are building for the web. Many people do not understand the difference between graphic design and web development. While it is true that designers and web developers work closely together, the two jobs are truly not the same. It is the developer’s job to develop the framework of the website through HTML, PHP and.NET. The coding of the website provides the backdrop for the designer. Think of the developer as the creator of the canvas for a painter. The painter in this case is the designer. The designer works to create the color palette, graphics and other design elements on the website. While it is true that some graphic designers understand code and know how to perform basic website design tasks, the main focus of the graphic designer should be on design.
Code vs. Design
Designers in reality do not need to know even simple code. Some people might say that you need to know how to convert a PSD to HTML for a client. However, there are plenty of services that are available that specialize in converting these documents for graphic designers. Great designers understand that they cannot divide their attention between their craft and learning an entirely new craft – in this case, learning to code. Some designers spread themselves too thin by attempting to learn code and their body of work suffers. You simply cannot spread yourself too thin. Everyone is looking for someone who can multi-task, however, they also want experts. You really cannot have both. Better to be an expert, because the more people that try to be good at two careers there are, the higher the demand for experts will be. Let an outside company handle your coding if you have a job that requires tasks such as converting PSD to HTML.
Focus on Your Talent
You are a designer for a reason. You are good at it. People will hire you specifically because you are able to build amazing things. Therefore, why should you spend your time trying to be a web developer. Smart business people know their strengths and weaknesses. They surround themselves with smart people who are good at different things. If your job requires coding on a regular basis, why not find a PSD to HTML service to work with and establish a business relationship with – who knows, you may even find new leads from this service provider.