Even though print and web designs have a lot of aspects in common, there are differences which make each one of them a speciality for graphic designers. Many factors make them different, including the design process, the software used, and the terms that each uses. Some of the differences between designing for websites and printed publications include the following.
How Users Consume Them
Print design is meant to be printed out in its physical form, while website design is intended to be consumed on the internet. The main difference between print and web designs is that one is meant to be held physically and felt between the fingers. However, the other website design can only be viewed or heard. There are cases, such as web magazines, where the designer lays out the page the same, but the experience is still different for the consumers.
How Permanent the Design Is
For print, when the design has hit the printer, it is all permanent. For websites, things can still be tweaked or even be redesigned completely. Many sites which have content which is frequently changing, have a graphic designer on standby to change things up for them. It is different for print since once it is published, it cannot be undone.
For print, the way to navigate through content is always limited to flipping through the pages. Things get a little complex when it comes to web graphic design. A visit to an active website, such as the sports sites, is a clear example of how websites are making their designs user-friendly for easy navigation. They use aspects such as different colors, menus, sub-topics, and a search box to make the site easy to use.
Arrangement of Content
Both print and website graphic design focus on the placement of content on a page. The key rule is that the content should be arranged in a way such that the user does not struggle to make sense of what is going on. The difference between print and websites is that for print, the content has to fit within a certain page, while for the web, it is more flexible. Print depends on the space which the printing paper allows.
The Resolution of Photos
When a photo is to be printed for print design, the resolution has to be very high, so that it looks good upon printing. For websites, the images have to be compressed, so that they can load quickly. This has to be done without compromising the integrity of the picture.
As much as there are differences between print and website design, the core factor, is that the graphic design has to be done with a focus on how the audience will use it. This is regardless of the platform they will be using to access it.