Design or build


New Member
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.

Perhaps team up with a coder? That can work. You need to know the basics to understand if your layout will translate on to the web and in HTML/CSS but it sounds like you have a good base knowledge.

Then you can learn in your own time and hopefully build full sites later on.
Perhaps team up with a coder?
+1 for that. Your success willl depend on the relationships you build up with other businesses that need something from you and vice versa. Get some designs on a folio, subscribe to .net and build on your strengths from print design.
Design only is very viable

I ofer 'design only' for websites and have been doing that for years. I get quite a lot of clients for front end web design over each year so actually you could just do this full stop only if you wanted to, and never build.

I simply refer my clients to my recommended web developers to build the design once completed. Or they hire one themselves that they already have in mind perhaps.

I used to build, but I LOATHE it, and it's not my natural skill and so I always found it very difficult to learn and get to grips with it as well as other developers do - so I stopped and started to offer 'design only'. I've been design 'only' for at least five years now I'm sure, and it's fine, I get plenty of web projects in as well as the print projects.

Best of luck whatever you decide :)

Web Design, Identity Design, Print Design, Illustration
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I porefer building over design - Ama software engineer who has crosed over to web site creation.

look me up if you need a coder.
As what everyone has said already - Collaborate with a dedicated coder/developer if you can.

I can code but my main strength is in design, I collaborate with a colleague who can design but is better at coding and prefers coding.

Web industry moves very quickly and you really need to be on top of your game to stay on top of what new browsers are out there, their strengths and weakeness, how things are displayed etc

+ You now have responsive design for mobile devices which again requires more learning of complicated CSS, jquery, php etc

However, as a designer who wishes to expand in web design, it is very important to understand how and what can and cannot be done and what the limits are. Learn and understand the fundamentals and it will come in very useful.

Hope that helps