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What's the Difference Between Print & Web Design?

What's the Difference Between Print & Web Design?

Elisha-Rio Apilado

Target Audience

With printed materials, you’re trying to keep the audience’s attention on the page long enough so that the message the client is trying to send out gets across. This can be limited due to the amount of space given to you on a single sheet of paper (such as a small quarter ad in a newspaper) or even in the number of pages (such as a brochure). Sometimes, the cover of the end product is all you have to catch their attention (book jackets). A benefit for printed designs is the variety of materials the information can be printed on. Physical properties such as textures and shapes can help achieve the main design goal.

Web is much more interactive. Web designs try to keep the audience on a particular site for as long as possible. The number of web pages is unlimited. The content has the ability to continue growing throughout time and the website can be flexible to fit all the information. Navigation, sound, animation, and interactivity between the individual and the computer are of utmost importance.

Careers and Industries

As stated before, job titles vary between both print and web designers. They may share the same industry as companies fill their creative departments with both print and a web designers, but their roles are very different.

A print designer could be an Art Director at a magazine, an illustrator for a t-shirt store, a package designer for a food product company or an ad designer at a newspaper.

A web designer could work to program the design and look of a company website or even a social networking site. They could be a flash designer working on animations for a movie website or could even be an ad designer working on animated ads made solely for the internet.

So, what properties do print and web design share?

• Both use the computer to create designs. • The design work can transition from one design realm to another (i.e. design on printed materials translated to the web or the design on the web taken into print format). • Both help visually communicate news, information, products, and services. • Both use the elements of design (shapes, line, color, type) to present the content to the audience.

How to figure out which route to take?

Deciding on the type of design you want to pursue depends on your experiences with each. There is no right or wrong career path to take. Ideally, learning both skills can make your work as a designer even more marketable.

In today’s job searches, many places often ask for a focus in one aspect, but a knowledge in both. If you’re a print designer for branding, try taking that brand onto websites. See what you enjoy the most and what you can learn from both!


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