With the popularity of the internet, it seems that the majority of designers are working for the online world only. Sometimes a designer is asked to make the transfer from the online medium into the printed world. The two might seem like they are primarily the same, but this could not be farther from the truth. Working as a designer for printed media can be quite different from working for the internet, and people need to adjust accordingly.
There is a lot of information for people who want to move from printed media onto the internet, but there is not as much about going in the reverse order. Many designers are trained to work for the internet, so it can be difficult if you are asked to make a business card or a poster using traditional print. You have to educate yourself about the core differences between web design and print design.
Controlling the viewer
Most people view the web and printed media in very different ways. People interact with the internet by the use of their computer. They are in control of where they go by clicking around using a mouse and a keyboard. With print, the image is simply presented to the viewer, and they can take it as it is. In print the graphics are in control of how the viewer experiences it, while with web design, the user has the control. This is an important difference to understand if you are going to switch from one media to the other.
Printed graphics need to tell the user where to look and be more assertive than online media. Careful attention needs to be paid to how the images flow with each other, and where the eye is directed.
Constraints in web media
If you are designing for the internet, you need to think about different screen sizes, varying resolutions, and how well a page is going to load on a computer. However, with printed media, you do not have the same concerns. You will simply be creating something that will be viewed in the same way by everyone. Printed media comes with this constant, rather than coming with constraints.
When you are designing for printed media, you know exactly how the images will be seen. If you are making a large poster, you know that people are going to look at a large version of your design. If you are making a small business card, you know that your design is going to be printed very small in a compact area. You do not have to worry about your fonts showing up correctly on certain systems. You do not have to worry about pages not loading properly either.
Limitations of printed media
Printed design is not as free and easy as you might think, and there are new limitations that you have to learn. Your design will have to work in a two dimension world. There is also the consideration of printing costs that you have to think about. It is easy to make a lot of content for a website, because it does not cost any extra to make extra pages, and create large blocks of text. In the printed world, each word is going to cost money.