Pin Me

Understanding Printing Transition from Web To Print

written by: •edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 3/27/2009

Web to print transition is often understood in terms of comparing web layouts with print layouts. But, there is much more to it. A creative designer will actually have to understand the web to print transition and use them as varying attributes to sharpen their own creative skills.

  • slide 1 of 4

    It may be hard for some folks to believe, but the general perception that everyone in the publishing or the printing industry is gradually dumping the more conventional form of expression for the Web is highly misplaced. In fact, a new trend is emerging where the supposedly more creative web-publishers are using their skills to make a mark for themselves in the print medium of journalism, be it content writing or designing.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Different Approach

    Web-only designers know exactly what kind of platform they will be working upon and realize that most of their creations, albeit with a few modifications, will make it to the Web. However, for those in the print world, the scenario is slightly different. They have to make decisions from the very first step, including what sort of a printing material they will use to create a design. The considerations are aplenty as the requirement could be of that of a simple brochure, a huge poster, cheap flyers or just a postcard. Those who design for the most common printing medium, i.e. the newspaper, have the advantage of an unlimited canvas to set their intricate creations on.

    The print designs, perhaps always, make a more pronounced impact than most webpages. A print design’s appeal is based upon letting the observer selectively choose various features spread on a bigger canvas. Whereas, web design functionality is based on increasing the level of interaction with the browser and offer information through various simple tools such as scrolling or clicking.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Varying Attributes

    Print design offers a 2-dimensional limitation and it pays much more emphasis upon the layout. Each design is created using a fixed-sized canvas, which varies according to the requirement. For example, canvases used in newspapers and posters tend to be a bit bigger. Web design can be one-dimensional and multi-dimensional, sometimes even in combination. The difference lies in the way the canvas is laid out across the two mediums.

    Consider this — with a web page, the viewer is basically a scroller who is least likely to closely observe every effort that has been put in creating the finer details. The design here is supposed to create an immediate impact, i.e. catch the browser’s attention. While the user in a print format is likely to observe and may be even scrutinize every thing that lies on the canvas in front of him. While web users might start browsing and clicking even before the entire design appears on the screen, observers of the print medium tend to guarantee a more dedicated attention span.

    Print Influencing the Transition Print is superior in terms of providing a better image quality and harmony with the visible space. With time, there is a possibility of having screen resolutions that are so crisp that they surpass the quality offered by the print. However, in the current scenario, the web offers more restrictions. As a result, Web-to-Print solutions in the form of smart software packages are being offered. Web-to-Print is the name coined to commercial softwares used in organizations that have pre-press/pre-media working environments. It is used to make the transition of online digital content to the final print production process. It is referred to as Web2Print or remote publishing. These solutions are being increasingly used by:

    • Creative Agencies
    • Commercial & Digital Printers
    • Online Newspaper & Magazine Publishers
    • Brand Owners

  • slide 4 of 4

    Overview of Other Reasons for this Transition

    Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there has been a growing realization about the advantages of the print media:

    • Devoted Readerships

    The web, except for a few blogs and websites that have developed some level of reader loyalty, remains largely oriented for browser-oriented, casual readers. The print has been able to develop an audience that is steadfast and loyalties some times extend for many years.

    • Audience Targeting & Adaptability

    The print media offers the advantage of altering your medium of advertising according to the audience. For example, a neighborhood retail store might be functioning in an area where the level of web awareness is abysmally low. So, what’s the solution? Undoubtedly, the print with its ability to offer brochures, pamphlets, and every other kind of economical and easy-to-access advertising tool.

    • Credibility

    This is perhaps the biggest drawback of the web, which has indirectly led the people to realize the worth of the print medium. The web is being defined as an indiscriminate promotional vehicle. Whereas, the print media, despite the onslaught of commercial interests has managed to maintain its trustworthiness among the people.

    Your going to want to read Web Design versus Print Design for further understanding of these concepts.