While print and web designers have a lot in common, there are some important differences. These include tools, terminology and file formats. One of the main differences between print and web design is how people view them.
For instance, with print design whether it is a leaflet, brochure or poster it feels real. It exists in the physical world and can be touched. Whereas with digital design, they exist in a digital world, cannot be held. This means they are viewed differently. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest differences between graphic design for print vs the web.
Good graphic design can often convey your message better and quicker than line after line of copy. There are different ways to engage your audience with print design and web design. Print design adds a tactile experience that can include textures, shapes and printing effects. Using techniques like letterpress or embossing give more depth to your design. They create a bigger impact on your audience.
With web design, you have the benefit of using audio and visual experiences in your design. This can include audio and video elements or interactive functions. If we look at books for example, many readers love the feel of holding a physical book. They talk about the smell and the noise the pages make when turned over. These qualities cannot be replicated in the digital world.
With digital books you can include animations, audio clips and hyperlinks to useful information. Both approaches have their own benefits and appeal to different audiences.
Print and web design share many common design elements. These include typography, images, shapes, lines and colour to name a few. It may surprise you to learn that many share the same best practices. The difference comes in the layout of your content, such as copy and images.
When designing for print content must appear within the constraints of the printed surface. Designers will consider margins and bleeds. With web design there is greater flexibility to organise, arrange and filter the content.
There are many different file types to choose from and some work better for print than they do web and vice versa. It can get a bit complicated, so here is a quick guide to some common file types and their characteristics.
For Print & Web:
JPG (or JPEG): One of the most common file types. JPGs must be saved with an appropriate resolution. This is 300dpi and above for print use, 72dpi for standard Web use. The file needs to be CMYK for print and RGB for Web.
PDF: Another widely used and common format. A PDF preserves the original content and appearance of a file regardless of where or how it is viewed.
EPS: A commonly used format for saving vector graphics to preserve their scalability.
PNG: Often used for high image quality. This format supports transparency.
TIFF: Used to keep high image quality and large file size. Commonly used for final handover to a printer.
GIF: This file format supports graphics featuring animation. Ideal for simple graphics on the web.
SVG: Vector format that can be scaled up or down to any size without loss of quality.
Blackberry Design produce eye-catching designs for both print and web. We create graphic design that communicates with your audience. Get in touch on 01527 517309 or fill in our contact form.