While the basic concept of graphic design is similar for web design and print design, the details and aspects of the design process couldn’t be more different. This doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish both, but you need to understand the main similarities and differences, and what you should be aiming for in each type of design project. Here are some of the primary differences to understand.
One of the main differences between print and web design is the dimension you are working with. In web design, it is one dimension, as the user has the ability to scroll and adjust what they are looking at. With print design, however, it is two dimensions. There is a lot more attention paid to the layout, because all of the relevant information needs to be on a single page in most cases. There is also a difference in how people view the dimensions in web design, since users scroll and view online pages in different ways, while print dimension is pretty straightforward for everyone.
Being Able to Navigate
Another big difference (and benefit) with web design as opposed to print design, is being able to navigate webpages. Not only does web design need to include a crisp and clear design, with the right combination of images and typography, but you get the added bonus of changing the user’s navigation, which then changes their perspective. Of course, this also makes a graphic designer’s job slightly more challenging since they need to consider the different methods someone might view information on a website. Some things to consider are how information is provided, showing links, considering the location of the user, and explaining where the links go.
Image Quality and Response Time
A benefit for print design is having much better response time, speed, and image quality. In print, you can use high-quality images that nearly jump out of the paper. It also makes it easy for the user to get instant information, as opposed to them becoming bombarded with all the information on a website, and easily distracted. The limited space actually works in print design’s favor in this aspect. With print design, you aren’t worrying about navigation, differences in screen resolutions, or having a fast enough Internet speed to load all of the design elements, images and media.
On the other hand, web design can include multimedia and become more interactive with their design. This is another feature print design doesn’t have, and a main difference between the two. With print design, all you have is text and images, plus the addition of QR codes. With web design, you have text, images, QR codes, links, videos, audio, and various other forms of media and interactions. With print, you are limited to impressing the viewer with stunning photos and high-resolution visuals.
The speed of delivery is the last main difference between print and graphic design. With graphic design, you offer your viewers near instant delivery. This helps not only to let them see what you have faster, but gives you the option of making tweaks and edits and improvements as you see fit. In print, they have a one-shot deal because of the time it takes to process and print.
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