KillerSites Blog

Web Designers are Not Icon Designers!

August 20, 2008

I recently got a call from someone wanting to know what I thought about various image editing programs in terms of their abilities to make buttons:


“Stef, what program do you think I should use to create buttons for my websites? One buddy tells me he likes Corel Draw and another guy is big on Adobe Fireworks. What do you use?”

My answer to this question is simple:

Web designers should not be making buttons.

Today a web designer’s job is much different from it was just say 5-6 years ago. Once upon a time, web designers were typically just graphic designers moving into web design because that’s where the money was. It still is by the way. Anyway …

These days web design as a profession and skill set has evolved into it’s own beast. Web designers have many skills that go way beyond ordinary design:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Usability
  • Site architecture and SEO
  • And yes, some design basics

… and lots of other stuff to.

Did you notice that design, was at the bottom of the list? Yes, having good design chops is always a plus, but the fact of the matter is, is that a web designer is more like an architect that puts together the pieces, rather than being the carpenter that builds things.

Web designers (like architects) chooses the materials and puts them together properly …. but they don’t build everything from scratch.

How about the buttons?

You can buy great looking buttons / icons for $10-$15 a set. Why on earth would you want to spend HOURS making buttons that will probably not look half as good anyway? The answer is: you wouldn’t want to and you shouldn’t.

PS: web designers don’t make buttons!


Stefan Mischook.