Web Design Vs. Print Design: A Review

Fifteen years ago, there were no web designers. The very first web designers in the early days of the web were “traditional” graphic designers that migrated their skills from print to the new media. So a lot of web design today is influenced by print design philosophies.

However, it’s easy to take from granted the differences between print and the web for the designer. Here are some of the key differences revisited:

  1. The Web is Dynamic – the key difference between the two media is that designing for the web means designing for content that will change based on the reader’s interaction. Printed content and design, obviously, will stay the same for eternity.
  2. Authoring is different – Making web pages can literally be done on notepad for the HTML, CSS, and Javascript stuff. But there are key tools available from image editors (Adobe Photoshop/Fireworks, Mic), editors (Adobe Dreamweaver), and even rich media (Flash) that give the web its interactivity. Print folks have Adobe InDesign, and even Microsoft Word. Also, designing for print operates better in a WYSIWYG environment.
  3. As far as standards go, the web has a long way to go – From the browsers, to the mark-up standards, and design standards the web is a mish-mash compared to print. If I ask you what the standard for rich media on the web, you’ll probably say “Flash,” but open web standards advocates will point to something else.

As web design matures and print media finds a way to arrest its steady decline, designers will probably dabble on the media more often. Appreciating the difference between the two media could probably go a long way.

  • As a print designer, you should know the final piece will be delivered as-is to the printer, though you must make the final print job appears as intended. As a web designer, you must keep in mind that you will deliver your design to a programmer who will prepare it for the web. In print, we will be trying to get your audience to stay on a page long enough to get a marketing message across while in web we will be generally trying to keep our audience on a specific website for as long as possible. For me I prefer web designing more than print designer.

  • Excellent blog, thanks for the post!

  • Excellent blog, thanks for the post!

  • webmarketing

    Web design is simply best from print design because it is cost effective.

  • Im more of a web designer than a print designer, but I believe a good designer should be versatile enough to do both. The basics principles of design should be integrated in both print and web. There are just more rules and constraints to web design.I like web design because its not permanent, and I like print design because it is permanent. Hell, I just love what I do.

  • The N-dimensional aspect of web design follows from the hypertext navigation that is the essence of the Web. Moving around is what the Web is all about.

  • Brighter and exciting does mean better. Print media is losing out because you can find anything you need to know online, and some things you don't want too. But, in all serious, print media is going the way of beta and vhs tapes. It is being replaced by the digital revolution. It might not be all for the best, but I don't want to go back.

  • Webmaster

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  • Q3322112

    Brighter and exciting does mean better. Print media is losing out because you can find anything you need to know online, and some things you don't want too. But, in all serious, print media is going the way of beta and vhs tapes. It is being replaced by the digital revolution. It might not be all for the best, but I don't want to go back

  • Q3322112

    Brighter and exciting does mean better. Print media is losing out because you can find anything you need to know online, and some things you don't want too. But, in all serious, print media is going the way of beta and vhs tapes. It is being replaced by the digital revolution. It might not be all for the best, but I don't want to go back

  • “Appreciating the difference between the two media could probably go a long way.” – Indeed. But I think both have their own merits and demerits. Although the print industry is going into a steady decline, there are people who still to read a compelling print copy. But with the advancement of technology and the popularity of the Web, it is high time that people go for online solutions. But we can always marry the two media to cater to a wider audience.

    Max @ Maxweb