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7 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Should Learn To Code

Sigma School
27th March 2024

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, graphic designers can greatly benefit from learning to code. By acquiring coding skills, designers can enhance their career prospects, improve collaboration with developers, and create more effective and innovative design solutions.

In this article, we will explore the numerous reasons why graphic designers should learn to code and how it can positively impact their careers.

Benefits of Learning to Code for Graphic Designers

Learning to code as a graphic designer brings a multitude of benefits. Let's dive deeper into some of the key advantages.

1. Design and development make a powerful duo.

Combining design and development skills is a winning combination in today's job market. Many employers are drawn to candidates who can handle both aspects of website creation. Instead of relying on external developers, having expertise in graphic design and coding allows you to bring added value to your company. 

Whether it's crafting your professional portfolio or enhancing your employer's website, mastering front-end (and even back-end) development gives you control over the creative process. With this versatile skill set, you can ensure your vision shines through every step of the way.

2. A shift in web designers' mindset regarding websites and apps:

Learning to code changes the way web designers think about websites and applications. It allows them to think more comprehensively and strategically about design decisions. By knowing code, designers can consider the technical aspects and limitations of web development, resulting in more informed and effective design choices.

3. Increased creativity

Coding skills enable graphic designers to unlock their creativity and predict the final results of animations more accurately. By understanding the technical aspects of coding, designers can have a better grasp of how animations and interactive elements will behave, allowing them to push the boundaries of their creativity.

4. Prevent designing solutions incompatible with HTML/CSS coding.

Understanding code empowers graphic designers to avoid designing solutions that can't be accurately encoded with HTML/CSS. By having coding knowledge, designers can ensure that their design concepts can be implemented on the web. This prevents the frustration of coming up with design ideas that are challenging or impossible to execute.

5. Creation of better responsive websites and applications: 

In a world where mobiles are used widely, creating responsive websites and applications is crucial. Graphic designers with coding skills can design and develop websites and applications that provide a seamless user experience across different devices. By optimizing layouts, adapting design elements, and ensuring consistency across various screen sizes, designers can create designs that are user-friendly and visually appealing.

6. It makes you more employable 

Every forward-thinking, modern company requires ongoing web design expertise, ensuring abundant career opportunities in the field. These roles offer competitive salaries, flexibility in location, and often, the freedom to set your own schedule for a satisfying work-life balance. 

Demonstrating a diverse range of design skills not only enhances your CV but also makes you more appealing to employers seeking versatile talent. As you advance in your career, acquiring new skills can lead to promotion opportunities, particularly when you possess both design and coding abilities. By being able to handle both aspects, you not only save on outsourcing costs but also gain confidence in presenting ideas and advising clients effectively.

Sigma Guide: Careers in Coding: Full Stack vs Front End vs Back End Developers

7. Improved collaboration with Front End Developers

Graphic designers who possess coding skills can collaborate more effectively with front-end developers. They can better understand the technical aspects of implementation, align design decisions with development requirements, and foster a collaborative workflow.

Graphic Design Disciplines Where Coding Holds Significant Importance

In certain graphic design fields, coding plays a pivotal role in shaping the creative process:

UI Design

UI designers utilize HTML, CSS, and JavaScript extensively to craft visually appealing and interactive interfaces for websites, mobile apps, and digital platforms. Proficiency in front-end coding empowers UI designers to customize every aspect of the user experience.

UX Design

UX designers employ HTML and JavaScript to develop prototypes for rapid testing and validation of design concepts. By creating low-fidelity prototypes with coding languages, UX designers can iterate on ideas quickly and efficiently.

Web Design

Proficiency in HTML, CSS, and other web languages is essential for web designers to construct visually stunning and functional websites. From structuring web pages to implementing dynamic effects, coding skills are integral to the web design process.

Interaction Design

JavaScript proficiency enables interaction designers to create dynamic and engaging user experiences. By coding interactive elements such as micro-interactions and gestures, designers bring interfaces to life beyond static mockups.

Generative Design

Generative designers leverage code to generate intricate graphics, patterns, and animations algorithmically. Programming languages like Processing and Python enable designers to create unique visual compositions through code-based algorithms.

Motion Graphics

Coding enhances motion graphics designers' ability to create complex animations and visual effects. Languages like Processing empower designers to develop sophisticated physics simulations and particle systems for dynamic motion graphics.

web design illustration with different coding languages

Recommended Coding Languages for Graphic Designers

When it comes to coding languages, some are more relevant to graphic designers than others. Let's explore the coding languages that are recommended for graphic designers.


are essential coding languages for graphic designers as they provide the foundation for designing and styling web pages. With HTML, designers can structure the content of a web page, while CSS allows them to control the visual presentation of the content.

JavaScript and front-end languages: 

Knowledge of JavaScript and other front-end languages can enhance a designer's ability to create interactive and dynamic web experiences. JavaScript is a versatile language that enables designers to add interactivity, animations, and other dynamic elements to their designs.

Back-end languages: 

While not as essential as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, familiarity with back-end languages like PHP or Python can enable graphic designers to work more closely with developers on complex web projects. Understanding back-end languages allows designers to have a more comprehensive understanding of the entire web development process.

Resources and Courses for Graphic Designers to Learn Coding

For graphic designers looking to learn coding, numerous resources and courses are available. Let's explore some of the options that can help graphic designers kickstart their coding journey.

Self-learn course

Starting with self-learn and short courses can be effective and cost-friendly for graphic designers to begin learning to code. Many platforms offer beginner-friendly coding courses that cover the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Sigma School's Proven Coding Bootcamp Curriculum can be a great choice for anyone who wants to learn to code, on their own time to gain experience and build real projects. 

Online/Offline Bootcamp

Specifically, tailored coding bootcamps and courses can provide graphic designers with a structured and supportive learning environment. These programs cover the coding languages and concepts most relevant to graphic design, ensuring that designers receive targeted education and support.

Learn More: What is a Coding Bootcamp

While not every aspect of graphic design involves coding, having coding abilities opens up exciting new opportunities for visual designers today. With coding skills, graphic designers can independently bring their creative visions to life in digital formats and experiences. Even basic programming knowledge grants designers greater control over layout, styling, automation, generative techniques, and animation, and ultimately enhances the overall user experience.

By incorporating coding into their skill set, graphic designers transform from mere image-makers to empowered creators and engineers of the interactive digital realm. While mastering visual design remains essential, embracing coding equips graphic designers to excel in the digital age.

If you are interested in learning to code but afraid that you have no experience before, don’t worry. Sigma School's coding course is 100% beginner-friendly. In fact, most of the students who came to our coding school were from various backgrounds, mostly non-tech. So, if you are interested, check out their Full Stack Software Development where you can learn to build some awesome projects in as little as 3 months. 

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