HTML Coding

Hi Everyone,

In one of my introduction web design classes, we are starting to learn HTML/CSS coding. How important/realistic is it for a graphic designer to learn to code? Do graphic/web designers actually do coding or do companies usually hire a separate developer to do the coding portion? I don’t expect to be a professional coder, but will it be beneficial to learn as much as possible? Thanks!

I would say its pretty important to at least understand the HTML and CSS enough to make tweaks, as well as to understand what works and how it works. Some companies have larger groups that separate design from coding, but it’s still beneficial IMO to know it. Especially if you’re with a smaller company that expects you to design and code.

Always. Learning is never wasted.

And for web design, html and css will be highly useful. Even if you don’t do the coding, you’ll have a better idea what’s possible and the limitations.

HTML and CSS are languages. It’s often possible, and beneficial, to understand a language, even if you don’t actively speak it. If you never come into a situation in which you use it regularly enough, you’re never going to “speak” HTML/CSS, but having a fundamental understanding of it will make you a better collaborator. No matter what the subject matter, it’s always better to avoid being someone who says, “I’m completely in the dark about that stuff.” Take the opportunity.


It’s very realistic, and it’s important if you’ll be designing websites. Your question is a bit like a carpenter asking if it’s important for him to learn to use a power saw.

Just being able to mock-up a website in Photoshop won’t get you too far — even in those companies that separate the coding from the design. It’s still necessary to know the front-end languages of HTML & CSS (and a little Javascript) if only for understanding what they can do, what they can’t do and how to design websites in ways that take those possibilities and limitations into consideration.

It’s probably not a requirement to learn the server-side languages, since programmers almost always do that part. Even there, though, it’s important to at least have a working knowledge of those languages just for the sake of being able to carry on an intelligent conversation with them.


I could not agree more. It is one of the biggest frustrations developers have with designers who have no knowledge of what is possible or practical. This is especially true in regards to “responsive” / “adaptive” design. It helps to understand terms like “mobile first web design,” or the significance of designing for a “12 column grid.”

1 Like

Thank you everyone for the great feedback!! Glad to hear that my school’s program is teaching me what I will need for my career. I will def learn as much as I can in this class and beyond!

And team workflow is very important too. Having the understanding of those ‘languages’ will better serve a skill set.

For the next decade, very important. For the decades beyond the next, not so sure. A.I. might eventually make knowing computer coding languages less important to a graphic designer than knowing auto mechanics will be to a local politician. There was a time when people thought that graphic designers were going to need to know PostScript.

You mean I wasted all that time learning about stack operators and boolean summaries. :flushed:

1 Like

In my country, developers and designers are the same, or sadly the companies think is the same, so i’ve come to learn a lot of html and css, but they expect you to know java script and programming languages such as php and others is very frustating, web design and development must be a team work practice that involves different professions such as developers and designers. Yes its important to learn html and css and it’s kind of fun so you could expect more realistic results.

I know you’re just talking about HTML coding but I’m not sure where it will fit in with the direction that web development is heading.

While things like email templates and quick edits on Wordpress or static sites will be needed for quite some time, I think that web development is moving away from something that someone who doesn’t specialize in it can do.

Back-end technology has always been something left up to the more code-educated people. I know some CS students who have trouble grasping some of the font-end frameworks that companies demand font-end developers to know these days. A lot have problems with React/angular and the ones who get through those easily, get caught up on Redux.

Even more complicated for people to learn is server-side rendering of client-side technologies.

CMS’ like wordpress and Drupal are being dropped in favor of headless CMS.

Something like Javascript, that was pretty much a free-for-all language is becoming more strict as companies roll out things like Typescript and babel. You have to set up an actual development environment to compile and deploy your website.

A lot of people see this as a bad thing, but I see it as a good thing. TS, tough front-end frameworks and code compiling might make things more complicated to learn, but things are becoming unified in a magical way that will benefit the web in areas where it’s been fragmented since it’s creation.

I am a freelance web developer and I had started with learning with html and css which was very helpful for me.

©2019 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook