Web-design versus graphical design.

It?s funny how I can be so fully immersed in something that it?s all I can think about and then a while later I can?t be bothered and move onto the next thing. This happens to me a lot and usually my main two conflicts are between web-design and graphic-design.

Both overlap for me but there are times when I want to give up on coding, maintaining, installing, whatever, when I?m creating a new website, and I get so utterly fed up with it that I get the urge to be more creative and move onto designing various things, be it leaflets, posters, or even graphics for websites. Anything as long as it?s not about the back-end of websites and just about looking pretty and showing off.

I normally stick with this for a little while and then after a little while longer I come to the conclusion that I am crap at it. I?ve been doing a little sideline for a friend and making some leaflets for a restaurant he?s been doing promotion and marketing for, and I was given a fairly basic outline, and did my best with what I was given. It came out quite well I thought but it?s had to have contsant revisions on the insistance of the restaurant owners. It?s been nothing to do with the actual design but they keep changing the wording and pictures, which although not a big task really pisses me off as they should have just stipulated what they wanted in the beginning. In fact my friend was getting quite annoyed too with their fickle nature that he himself has stopped working for them as it wasn?t worth the hassle.

After that experience I back to working with websites and have ditched being creative for a while.

I guess the thing is that with items intended for print, such as leaflets or posters, is I?m always doing them for another person and this can be especially hard when the other person either doesn?t communicate well or as is the case in my previous example wants to have too much input. Another case is that once the item is printed it will be fixed and as such will already be going out of date.

With websites I?ve designed so far I?ve always been trusted to get on with it and so far I haven?t failed. I guess part of this is that some elements of web-design are still held in high regard and although it?s getting easier to set up a site, there?s always a need for someone to produce a bespoke website with all the features you desire. The things about online work is that I can constantly ammend, change, and upgrade whatever is there and so the sites are valid for a much longer period than anything in print.

With a lot of the systems I?m using now to create sites, I can ask the client some very basic questions and get a bit of content and know that I can put together a site very easily. In most cases there has had to be very little revision apart from changing a few graphics and I like that. It must mean I am doing something right and I like it that people are still amazed by web-design and assume that they could never do it, although they probably could with a fair bit of training.

So for the moment I?m enjoying designing sites, and spending a fair bit of time on them and also learnig na few new things too which always comes in handy.

One of the sites I?ve completed recently is for a band I?ve mentioned a few times on here, Ticklin The Pickle. I set up their first website in around 2001/2002 and it?s been through quite a few incarnations since then, but for a while it dropped of the map due to lack of input and so it was redirecting to their myspace page, but with more time on my hands I made a new site (about six weeks ago) and although it needs a little more work I?m happy with the way that it basically runs.

I?m off to see TTP at the weekend in Chichester and so may come back with a few more photos etc to upload to the site. It will also be a chance for me to explain the whole admin process to them so that I can take a little more of a backseat with it and leave them to do most of the work.

I really would like to do more web-design work (paid that is!) and would honestly enjoy doing it professionally sometime in the future but I know that I don?t have the skills to do it full-time and rely on it providing me enough to live on. I still need to do a lot more research, set up a proper website for myself and really really think about how I would go about it. I?m aware that I also need to find somewhere to host a large amount of MySQL databases (I use freemysql.net sometimes but need a 100% guarantee on my databases). Hmm something the think about and I really would like it if anyone who has been involved in web-design professionally could comment and give me some tips.

Of course next week I could?ve given up on web-design and moved onto something more creative! Oh fickle me!

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2 Responses to Web-design versus graphical design.

  1. Aidan L says:

    I have done some web design for free, however, it is looking increasingly possible that I will soon be working for two clients. I have the design ready for both, however, only one of the clients have seen theirs. As it stands I need pictures and information from the other client see.

    My main problem with web design is the graphics designing. I am not very creative at all? I usually end up doing the same sort of sites, i.e. two column sites, however, I never use a CMS for them. I prefer to update it myself, plus I have never used one! Another reason for not using a CMS is because I find it easier to create my own websites in a sense, plus I don?t like to use templates or anything as I would feel as though I am cheating the client if you get me?
    I once spoke to someone about web design and they suggested that I took a free design from oswd.org modified it and used that, the thing is though, is that I just couldn?t do that. It is using someone else?s work for your gain, even if it is free and available to use.

    By the way, I really like the band website. I was asked to do a band website for a local band, however, they decided not to take me up despite having me do work for them, setup a domain and web hosting!

    Now that I have two clients I have found out some information on how to draw up a contract and what type of things should be included etc. If ever you need a bit of information on contracts etc I would be happy to give you the information I received. It isn?t a lot, but it is certainly helpful.

    I am not really sure where this reply has got to haha! I seem to have just gone on and on forever!

  2. Chris says:

    If you want full control over your hosting I?d suggest going for a provider that offers you a virtual private server. I use exonetric, a great UK based, reasonably priced provider (about £14/month for what is essentially your own server co-located somewhere). Alternatively, you could check out . Be warned that both of these solutions will involve quite a bit of sysadmin type involvement on your part. You might want to stick to a more traditional provider that sets up most of the infrastructure for you, and gives a guarantee of up-time.


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