Key Similarities and Differences between Print Design and Web Design

Key Similarities and Differences between Print Design and Web Design

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Key Similarities and Differences between Print Design and Web Design

“If no one hates it, no one really loves it.” – Jessica Walsh – American Graphic Designer

The above quote sums up the job of a designer and how much they have to suffer from coming up with a perfect design. And it is true for every designer whether he is working for print design or web design. There are many similarities and some differences, too, that I would like you to know.

Print and Web Design

Print design is any design where the final form is intended to be printed. From small business cards, brochures, and flyers to gigantic billboards, print design covers it all. Even the pictures and designs you see on a T-Shirt also belongs to print design.

On the other side, web design is about everything that goes into the design and how it can impact websites. But there are other aspects to web design which are also important like accessibility and user experience.

Difference between Print and Web Design

Both print and digital design are similar in many ways. However, the print design needs to be perfect, precisely pixel-perfect, as it is a key requirement. The high cost incurred when taking care of an error in print design is the reason why print design must be done meticulously. Print designers also don’t have much room for errors as they have to work with tight parameters. When it comes to the design of a business card, for example, the entire design and text need to be fit in within a few inches.

For web design, there is much room for designers as any mistake or error can easily be rectified. The correction cost is also minimal. The following are some of the factors that are essential to know for a designer to come up with a good solution for the end-user.

User’s Approach to Print Design and Web Design

Generally, web design and print design are perceived differently by the end-users. Web design, being digital, is in stark contrast to print design which we can touch, like a book or a visiting card.

The static vs interactive difference also has much to say as looking at a print design which doesn’t change is a lot different when it comes to digital design. The interactivity factor is pretty much evident as the web offers content that can change virtually every day, like news websites, and so does the design of those websites.

Similarly, when it comes to navigation and usability, web design must provide straightforward solutions. For example, when it comes to the navigation of a website, end users look for easy search options, so that they can get to their required page. An interactive menu can help them out in this concern.

Factors Affecting Print Design

In print design, the size of the printing surface is one of the biggest determiners of how designers can use that space to their advantage. PPI (pixel per inch) and DPI (dot per inch) are two important factors that make a design look sharp. DPI is concerned with the density of dots of ink printed on an inch of the printing surface. While PPI is all about the number of pixels displayed in an inch of screen space.

Choosing the right file types also makes a difference as some file types are used just for print, some for web and some for both. For example, TIFF files are used only for print, GIF and SVG only for the web and JPG, PDF and PNG for both print and web.

Use of Colors

One of the most important aspects, the use of color in both print and web can enhance the impact design has on the end-users. For a brochure or a logo, the colors play an important role so that a design looks appealing and vibrant.


Finally, the use of fonts can also make the design look unique. You will be amazed to know how a customized font can make a design transform into something totally different. Of course, the skill of the designer is the important but apt use of all the factors mentioned above can make a print design look Avant-Garde.

Final Word

When we talk about the design in print and for the web, it is the talent of the designer that can make all the difference. There are dozens of examples where a simple business card can make a difference when it comes to brand recognition. On the contrary, sometimes a detailed and comprehensive website fails to entice the target audience.

It can be really difficult for a designer to work on both print and web design simultaneously as some of the aspects are quite different to master, even for an experienced designer. So, it is better to get the help of a print designer and a web designer for related projects.

If you think that you can add something valuable to this blog or want to ask a question about an aspect that is bothering you, you are welcome to speak up. For any type of feedback, too, please use the comments section below.

Hammad Husain
Hammad Husain
Hammad Husain is a Senior Digital Content Producer at Dubai Monsters. He is passionate about reading books, mostly related to current affairs, memoirs, latest trends in technology and sports. In leisure time, he likes to use the Internet and spend time with his family.