Coming from a print background, the transition to web design has been and continues to be something quite unique. Although the two subjects can be seen at opposite ends of the design spectrum, there are many techniques and practices which can easily cross over and be adapted to both. These include the use of grids, font selection and hierarchy to name but a few. Of course, these should all work in harmony with what will be the icing on a clients cake… that being a genuinely great idea which answers their brief.
A brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses for each
Both print and web offer both their own benefits and downsides. I believe each have their own place in the design arena, and for me it’s great to respect and acknowledge this.
Print is a very tactile and interactive medium. As well as a variety of paper weights and stocks, you can emboss, deboss, fold, foil block, die cut, spot UV and more. These elements should all be considered as they can speak an a personal manner to the recipient upon touch. For me, there’s nothing better than receiving a fresh piece of print straight from the press which includes one of the processes above.
The downside of print is not only an environmental impact but its static nature also. A single typo that wasn’t picked up in the proofing stage can spell costly trouble. Content that dates is also a tricky one. Aim to make projects as economical as possible by avoiding the use of dates. Use FSC certified papers (which are sourced from sustainable sources) and vegetable based inks. Why not look to work only with printers who have a green company ethos.
Gone are the days when a website used to be static. Jquery has re-written that rule book on that. Interactivity is key. Rollovers, clever tool tips, scrolling banners and more all play there part in drawing the user in and making sure they want to explore your site. What happens if you’d like certain copy changing along with a product image maybe? Amend these quickly and easily in a database tailored for you and re-upload. It’s that simple. A great cost effective tool.
What are the weaknesses you may ask? Ok, so your site may go down once in a while which will prompt a call to either us or your hosting company, and minor technical bugs may need ironing out when viewing your site in varied browsers, but in all honesty, these are very few and far between which is why the gap between online and offline design has widened so much.
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