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Design or build

I’m after a bit of advice.

Currently I’m working as a print designer but I want to expand my skillset into more of a digital area so I’ve got more opportunities when I come to change jobs.

I’ve read a few HTML/CSS books and completed online tutorials but now I’m a bit unsure what to concentrate on. Should I start off just working on website designs and not worrying about code for now or should I get stuck in and start trying to build sites?

I’m concerned that If I start trying to build sites it’s going to take a while, where as If I just work on designs I can at least get some examples in my portfolio sooner. My folio is just print based at the minute so any web work would be a bonus. I just worried now that this is dodging the bullet and do I really need to be building as well?

Any advice from people that have been in a similar position, or people who are involved in recruiting designers would be appreciated.



Active Member
Hey Bovin, really depends if you want to be a developer as well as a designer, I know many folk who just concentrate on one discipline, and out source the other. .


I've been in this same position. It's a very difficult choice to make and one that might take a long time to answer.

Once upon a time I used to think that you needed to go all out and just learn everything in both design and web coding - I then came to realise that's practically impossible. So It's taken me a year or so to work out which one I prefer doing and for me it's got to be design. I just love creating artistic pieces of work with a purpose, not something that just looks pretty.

This has left me with the ability to code decent static websites in HTML/CSS. I know how to implement jQuery applications, re-skin them and alter most settings and for me - as a graphic designer, that's more than enough. It allows me to look at my designs and think "Will this really work when it comes to coding the website". It also means that I'm fully capable of editing pretty much any website - it's just building things from scratch I can't do. This is obviously where programmers come in to it though, that's their job.

So all in all, I would definitely recommend learning how to program basic websites because it will help you a lot. (When I say basic I don't mean something that looks basic, it just doesn't have to include custom written PHP/JavaScript, databases, e-commerce etc etc etc.)


Junior Member
Hi Bonvin, You can solve the confusion by making examples of your design as well as development work, the one with great appreciation will show you the choice to go with.