The Difference Between Print & Web Design

Print design holds you in place. It keeps your eyeballs bouncing around, it doesn’t let them go. While web design pulls your eyeballs down a path. It tries to channel the raging river of your attention through a site’s little stream.

That’s just my opinion. As a print designer and as a web designer. But here’s my question: what does this mean for blog design and the particular purposes of blogs?

10 thoughts on “The Difference Between Print & Web Design”

  1. I had written out this long comment about how I view print and blogs differently and the growth of blogs as a CMS replacement but I thought I’d do everyone a favor and make my first of many comments on your blog a short one.

    I think quite simply print has more room to work with than blogs or websites in general do. When you view a print publication the design is cohesive and guides you from page to page, changing in subtle ways throughout to keep your attention, whereas when you visit a blog you have one consistent design and layout from page to page that never changes (with the exception of the more website, less blog like WordPress themes out there that feature a different front page and sub-page style).

    What has still yet to be mastered online is a way to present a blog or website with a layout and design that offers similar eye tracking consistencies to print. A way to keep people interested in both the ads and the content. Great design is the one you are least likely to notice. Master such a thing and you’ll be on top of the blogging world.

    As for the particular purposes of blogs: They grew out of the need for people to share their thoughts on common subjects — product reviews, politics, news. They give you a a personalized perspective on things that you won’t find in corporate or “professional” writings. As WordPress and other blogging/social network platforms evolve though I think we’ll see blogs become less about being a journal page and more about managing a website with an easy to use CMS.

  2. Hi
    1. printdesign is precise – a print designer has the absolut control of the layout
    2. web design – you and I can’t know which what medium a user would like to see our websites. 120px – 2400px or the biggest font and so on

    3. at printdesign you can use the *footer* for the eyecatching things- at webdesign you can do this -but to do this is not really clever.

    4. the “homepage” of a print journal is almost the same – at webdesign nobody is able to know which site of the website is the *first* site for the user-

    print design and webdesign are siblings, but :
    siblings are flowers of the same garden – no more, no less.

    I can’t say blogdesign must have this or that. Because every blog is a new journal –

    I would like to read a blog – sometimes I can’t because color is light grey and background is a little darker –

    sometimes I see more ads than content.
    sometimes I fond a patchwork – here three links to xy, there four to z, videos – like a dependance from youtube – and so on-but no content.

    I can say I would like to know who is the author, where are the next articles, — I would like to get an overview of the blog – I don’t care if the author has one or thousands friends at a social network.

    90% of the time the particular purpose of a blog is to make money 😉


  3. I would be interested to know if there has ever been a medium that is “fluid” as the web is. By this, I mean has there ever been a medium where the design had to have room to breathe to account for other considerations outside of the designer’s control.

  4. In my experience it seems that web design although i do agree can be very impressive doesn’t prove to be as memorable as print design. The reason i feel is that print design (good print design) appeals to more of the senses, it has a touch, a smell as well as its appearance and to me this lives longer in the memory and makes it easier to identify with. Essentially it is a possession, web on the other hand takes place on the screen in front of you and in a click can be gone. Looking back as a child it is a book that i remember and treasured above all else, not a computer game. Although if you would have asked me at the time i am sure it would have been the computer game.
    I am aware this is possibly a little off subject but do you think that we will ever see the end of print design? As a current student who enjoys this area of design it is of interest and would be interesting to have the opinions of others.

    regards rob

  5. You are absolutely right.

    As a print designer, you want the attention solely on the art. You do not want wandering eyes. As a web designer, you want the whole page to pop out. You want the view you scroll down, learn more and connect with the website.

    I never even imagined that difference.

  6. I noticed one thing, that overall quality of design is much better in print industry than in web.

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