Should Programmers Learn Graphic Design

Should programmers learn graphic design?

Whether programmers should learn graphic design is dependent on what kind of programmer they are, where they work, and whether they are freelancers. There are different kinds of programmers and some of them have nothing do to with design whatsoever.

Some programmers like frontend web developers strive to make the user interface interactive, eye-catching, and dynamic. These kinds of programmers are closer to design than other kinds of programmers.

In today’s insight, we are going to look at whether a programmer should learn graphic design or not.

Graphic design is the process of creating visual content that helps to communicate messages with an audience. Graphic design is also known as communication design, and Graphic Designers are essentially visual communicators.

Graphic design involves arranging visual elements such as images, typography, colors, and symbols, to convey a message to an audience.

To achieve this, Graphic designers use a range of software to design, from Adobe Software to Canva, Gimp, Sketch, Figma, Pixlr, Vectr, and many others.

Some of these software are easy to use and understand, but it’s the creativity and innovativeness of a graphic designer that allows them to do so much with these software and bring digital art to life.

On the other hand, programmers use programming languages to do their work. Programmers use Javascript, Python, Php, C++, C#, Ruby, HTML, CSS, Dart, and Java to work on different sets of projects, from websites to Games, Mobile apps, desktop apps, systems, artificial intelligence, etc.

Web designers use HTML for structure, CSS for styling, and Javascript for interaction. It can be seen that there is no intersection in the tools that programmers and graphic designers use, however, their work in some cases is closely related.


The team that is responsible for communicating visual content should learn graphic design. In some small companies, Web designers may be required to know graphic design and work on the company’s visuals.

In big companies, there is a separate team of professional designers who work on all company designs, including what websites and mobile apps should look like.

Not all programmers should learn graphic design. Programmers must work on solving problems using code.

However, some programmers such as Front-end developers must at least understand the basics of graphic design.

It is not required for Front-end Developers to fully immerse themselves in Graphics Design, but a basic understanding of graphic design is appreciable.

There are tools such as Adobe XD and Figma that make designing for Frontend developers very easy.

Depending on where you have been employed and what you are working on, a basic understanding of any of these software would be helpful if not needed.

Programmers working with embedded, control, telecommunication, operating systems, compilers, or any kind of low-level programming should worst no time learning graphic design.

Such programmers have more problems to worry about than the visuals.

As a programmer, you should only learn graphic design when it is absolutely necessary and required by your employers or potential employers.


However, if you are a freelance web developer, you should by all means learn graphic design.

You will be responsible for all of your client’s work, from wireframes, mock-ups, designs, frontend, and backend.

Knowing graphic design as a freelancer will help you work on a diverse range of projects.

It will also help you to earn more as you will not have to outsource design work.


In big tech companies, frontend web developers are responsible for translating the designs made by a team of UI designers to a web or mobile application UI.

The Graphic Design team will provide all the necessary resources (Images, Vectors, Icons, logos, fonts, etc.) that the frontend developers need to use.

Some of these front-end web programmers do not know graphic design, but they possess the necessary programming skills to translate graphic design into an app User Interface.

Graphic Designers and Frontend web developers mostly work hand in hand in visual communication, there are some minor overlaps in the process.

Ultimately, programmers generally do not need to learn graphic design to do their work effectively.

For front-end web developers, graphic design is an option that they can do without.

Freelance web developers however should endeavor to learn graphic design.  If you are interested in graphic design, try out Canva