Designing content for print and for the web are two branches of graphic design that may appear similar at the outset. However on deeper inspection, obvious differences become apparent, and that’s why brilliant print designs may not be brilliant on the web and vice versa.
Layout, Design, and Function Print design focuses on creating eye-catching artwork that has a good layout. Layout is far more important when designing for print, as the view is 2-dimensional, and is designed for a fixed canvas. The print image is also of better quality than the web image.
While visual impact is important in web design, functionality definitely has the edge. Websites must be easy to navigate and easy to understand. The best websites are attractive, contain relevant content, and load quickly. Users are not going to wait minutes for a website to load, regardless of how great the content is. Therefore when designing for the web, graphic designers must ensure that the graphics are of minimum resolution for the website to work efficiently.
Design Control Graphic designing for print offers the designer greater control over the details. Not only do designers have more control, but they also know exactly how the final design will look. This detailed control over the appearance means that whether you design a business card or a flyer, it will appear the same to everyone that sees it.
Not so with the web, there’s a lot less control involved, and the look of the final product can be influenced by several factors. For example the web browser often determines how the web page looks to the user, as does the screen resolution and colour profile of the users display.
Movement and Interactivity In print designs the images or text on the page are fixed, and no interaction takes place between them. However, the web opens up a new dimension of interaction between the different pages, and elements of the page. Movement on the web is not linear, as is the case with print designs, and as a result, graphic designers must make it easy for users to move around from page to page on a website.
These are some of the major differences between creating graphic designs for print vs the web. In order to be effective, graphic designers must be able to modify their approach in working with both mediums. That means being able to make best use of the strengths of the design formats, while minimizing the weaknesses.
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