How geeky is a graphic designer? Can’t code, probably doesn’t know half the acronyms your first year newbie does, and uses a lot of ‘short-cuts’ to generating web pages – Photoshop and Dreamweaver, to name the most likely tools in the toolbox.
Some would say a graphic designer does the ‘soft core’ web development – asks questions like how exactly should that image be placed in relation to the text, how can we achieve drop-shadow, or which font is most effective in which circumstance. The fundamental question behind graphic design is does form follow function – is the purpose of the website being conveyed clearly by its visual elements? As long as this is the question a graphic designer is asking, then yes it is a useful and vital task in web development.
So is a graphic designer a geek? I would say a thorough to the point of obsessive competence in anything, especially something computer related, makes one a geek in that area. Sure a graphic designer can be a geek – a very specific type of geek, whose expertise has great relevance to the work of the ‘hard core’ back-end coding geeks.