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What's the Difference Between Print & Web Design?

What's the Difference Between Print & Web Design?

Elisha-Rio Apilado


The actual workspace for print and web design differ greatly — from the type of software they use to the techniques that these different designers must learn and execute correctly.

The print designer works a lot with Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. They think in 300 dpi so that the resolution of the end product isn’t blurry or pixelated. Their color palette revolves around CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). The colors abide by number codes that printers identify with in order to output the same hues.

Print designers must be knowledgeable about the printing process so that the end product matches the product they’ve created on the computer screen. Print designers have the advantage of knowing the amount of space to design in right from the start so that the finished product will look the same to everybody who views it.

Web designers, on the other hand, work in a fairly different atmosphere. Their measurements for accuracy revolve around pixels, as they are designing on a computer towards an end product that stays on the computer. Because their work must be in pixels and the space they have to work with varies with the amount of memory (bandwith), the site and images must be at 72dpi. The faster the site loads, the better, so working in 300dpi would be a hassle for the audience.

Their main tools consist of Adobe Photoshop, DreamWeaver and Flash. At times, web designers must achieve a finished item with the use of animation and 3D. The color palette involves RBG (red, blue, green) and go by the hexadecimal values. Colors are affected by the brightness and contrast of different computer monitors. The number one challenge web designers face is designing the site to look it’s best on all size monitors and resolutions since personal computer sizes vary between each individual (large format computer screens to smaller mobile devices).

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