Should Programmers Learn Graphic Design?

Should Programmers Learn Graphic Design?

The need for digital professionals with diverse skillsets has become increasingly important as technology continues to evolve and expand.

Graphic design is no exception – it has become an integral component for those working in programming and software development. However, should programmers go the extra mile and learn graphic design? This article will explore this question in depth.

The answer to this question depends on what type of programmer you are, where you work, and whether you are a freelancer. 

There are many types of programmers. Let's take the example of front-end developers who develops web applications.

Front-end developers create user interfaces that are interactive, attractive, captivating and dynamic. They are closely linked to graphic design.

What Does a Graphic Designer do?

Graphic design creates visual content that aids in communicating information in a way that appeals to the audience. 

Graphic designers are sometimes called communication designers because they use visual design to communicate with users.

Graphic design uses visual elements like typography, images, symbols and colours to communicate with users. For that, they use various software programmes like Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Gimp, Sketch, Figma, Pixlr, Vectr, and many more.

What Does a Programmer do?

Programmers use programming languages, including Javascript, Python, Php, C++, Ruby, HTML, CSS, Dart and Java.

Web designers use HTML to structure their work, CSS for styling, and Javascript to design user interaction. 

So this is clear now that there is a huge difference between a graphic designer and a programmer. However, there are some similarities between a programmer and a graphic designer.

Who Should Learn Graphic Design?

A programmer responsible for designing visual content must have basic knowledge of graphic design. If a programmer is working in a small company, then they might require graphic design skills.

In large firms, a different team of designers is responsible for the company's designs, and this graphic design team is responsible for designing the company's website visuals and images.

Not all programmers need to master graphic design. Programmers are required to solve problems with code. However, some programmers, like front-end developers, require basic knowledge of graphic design skills.

Tools like Adobe XD and Figma can help front-end developers when they are creating graphic design. If you are a front-end developer, then the basic knowledge of this software will be extremely helpful during graphic design.

Programmers working on coding, telecommunications operating systems and compilers don't require graphic design skills.

As programmers, you should only learn graphic designing skills if it is required by the company you are working with.


If you're an independent web developer or a freelancer, you should learn graphic design because a client can ask you to design wireframes, mockups, designs, front-end and back-end, which requires graphic design skills.

If you are familiar with graphic design, it will help you work on many projects as a freelancer. It can also allow you to earn more since your clients won't have to outsource design work.

Frontend Web Developers

Front-end Web developers are responsible for developing websites and applications using web technologies.

Suppose you are working for a big company. In that case, the graphic design team will provide all the required tools (vector images, icons, fonts and logos etc.) that will facilitate you in developing websites and applications.

A few front-end web developers don't have a background in graphic design. Yet, they have the programming knowledge to convert graphic designs into an application user interface.

Graphic designers and front-end web developers generally work together in visual communication. However, there are some small differences in the way they work.

Final Thoughts

As the demand for interface and design skills increases, it would be wise for programmers to learn graphic design. While this may require a time commitment, the rewards of having a diverse skillset can be great.

Programmers equipped with coding and design skills will have an advantage when competing for jobs in the tech industry. In addition, understanding design principles can give developers an edge in creating user-friendly applications.

Contact EWM for superior web and graphic design solutions for your website.



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