Design is an art form you use to decorate your thoughts – there are no limitations but for your imagination. Focusing the flow of your thought towards a certain subject and sequencing it forms a perfect design. Even the best visual design will not appeal if it fails to carry the right message. So the best design is always a combination of the right content and right visuals.
The print and web media are the two prime media where you put your creative design skills into play. Even though the design thought is common for both the media, there are some differences between both which should also be considered seriously. Here are some useful points discussed.
Differences between Print Design & Web Design:
1. In print design, font selection depends purely on the designer’s preference and there are no restrictions on the fonts used. You can select any font that is apt for the layout. In terms of web design, you have certain restrictions in using certain fonts especially for HTML pages. This is because a fancy font you use may not be available on an end user’s system and hence your page may render itself unreadable.
2. Sleek and elegant fonts are apt for print media. Normally for the web, bigger fonts are preferred. A web user may find it difficult to read small and sleek fonts.
3. For print media, design changes are not possible once it gets printed on a substrate. Hence, the design is largely static. However, a design you make for the web can be really dynamic because changes can be done at any point of time.
4. There are certain limitations in terms of colors used for print design. A visually appealing color may appear very bad in print. The cost is also high if you use a special color for print design. In a web page, you can use millions of colors in one page.
5. When designing for print, you have to consider the bleed area. You use the technical term "bleed" to describe a picture that extends to the extreme edge of a page. A full page bleed has an image covering the entire page with no borders. In order to give the printer some space for trimming a page with a bleed image you need to provide an image that extends beyond the crop marks. This extra area (the bleed area) is usually 1/8 or 1/4 inch. But web page images do not need a bleed area.
6. While designing for print, the size of the image is not a concern and you can use a high resolution to achieve a better print result. The ideal DPI (Dots Per Inch) used for print media should be 300 DPI. While for web the size of the graphic used plays a vital role. You should try and use a low resolution for web page graphics so that the web page loads easily when a user opens it.
7. The reach of the print design is much less when compared to web design. The printed material typically reaches only a defined, limited audience. But a web page that you create is available for any number of users across the globe to access and see.
(Michael Dolphin Leon is Graphic Designer at C2 Workshop)