Web vs Print – 5 Things to Consider When Designing by @skleberdesign

Thanks for Subscribing!

by Stacy Kleber Jensen | Featured Contributor

Though I truly believe that a good designer can design for any medium, there are definitely different things to consider when designing for web versus designing for print. Below are five things to consider when you are faced with designing for a new medium.

1. The Fold

The fold is a print concept that crept into web. When you design for print, for example for a newspaper, you keep important information to catch the viewer’s eye above the fold. For a while, this translated to web design, meaning the area before you scroll down, but with responsive design, the fold is becoming less and less relevant for web.

2. The Edge

If you are designing for print, you need to pay special attention to how close something is to the edge of the page. When something is printed and trimmed, often, if you put it too close to the edge, there is the potential for it to be cut off due to shifting during cutting. This is irrelevant in a web environment.

3. Pixel Perfect

As a designer, one of the things I love about print is that I can plan every detail of the page, perfect the kerning, spacing, etc, to provide my clients with the best possible final product.  In an age of responsive web design, while you can design a beautiful site (and you should!), as a designer, you have to relinquish some control of the final product. Depending on the screen, your design can appear in a variety of different ways, so it can be nearly impossible to plan how someone will see it down to the pixel.

4. Images

If you are dealing with a design for the web, all your images need to be in the RGB colorspace, at 72 dpi. This will ensure proper viewing and fast loading. For print, your images will be in CMYK, and while dpi may vary depending on the final product, the general rule is that images should be 300 dpi. Exceptions to this rule would be large scale print designs, such as backdrops and billboards. When viewed from a distance, dpi can sometimes be brought down to 100 dpi or 72 dpi.

5. Typography

With a plethora of typefaces available, it can be hard to choose typefaces for print and web. The general rule is that a serif typeface is easier to read in print, while a san serif typeface is easier to read on screen. While this is true, there are some typeface designers that are also designing web versions of fonts to improve readability online. This means more choices for the web designer than ever before.

These five aspects of design only scratch the surface of what to consider when designing for web vs print.  What other tips do you have for fellow designers?


Stacy Kleber Jensen (Washington, DC) – Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC

Stacy Kleber Jensen

Stacy Kleber Jensen is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Stacy Kleber Design, LLC (www.skleber.com).  She is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a BFA in Visual Communications and a concentration in Graphic Design. Stacy is currently attending the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to obtain a Masters of Science in Marketing.

Stacy founded her graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC, in 2008. Since its humble beginnings, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC has grown to specialize in branding and design for growing businesses and start-ups. Projects range from logo design and business collateral (business cards, stationery, etc) to websites and social media assistance. The greatest part of owning Stacy Kleber Design, LLC is helping businesses to establish their brand and their identity as a company, as well as find their voice in an ever changing digital world.

Notable clients include ASRC Federal Holding Corporation, Marriott OceanWatch Villas, Myrtle Beach International Airport, Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Please connect with Stacy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Share :