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How Web Design Influenced Today’s Print Design Trends


Print design and web design often come up in conversation together, as they are so alike yet so opposite. When someone thinks print design, they probably refer to a favorite, physical ad they tore out of a magazine to keep as inspiration or art. This is very different for web design, as someone will rave about a website’s flow and user experience when describing strong web design. Even though they are very different from one another, print and web design are becoming more alike than ever before.

Why is that the case? With the vast emergence of web design over the past 20 years, many designers have had to work in two different mediums. This leads web designers to refer to the world of print, and print projects are using the web for inspiration.

Web design has certainly shaped the design world for the better, and it’s a beautiful thing! Let us show you how web design has helped print design evolve into today’s standards of good design.

Bolder Look and New Shapes

Once upon a time, almost every layout in print publications was a predictable broken record. These printed pieces were rectangle, designed horizontally and had very limited color and font options. Today, modern newspapers, magazines and printed pieces experiment with shapes and colors of all kinds to stand out among the rest.

These bright colors and unique shapes are a direct takeaway from web design. While some web designers have lessened their use of bold, flashing colors to get visitors’ attention, print designers have come to like this trend.

Keeping SEO in Mind

Aside from visual design, SEO techniques have also helped people in the print realm create sharper, more focused copy for their physical work.

This certainly did not happen over night; this trend grew with the importance of SEO. When written work is both printed and posted on the web, writers became more conscious to add keywords into their publications. Instead of rewriting all of their content to be optimized for the web, designers and writers are now using words that give more detail for their projects.

Terminology and “Lingo”

Web design has had such a big influence on print, it’s even changing their verbiage! Print designers are now using new sets of words that describe things they’ve been doing for a long time, and some lingo is changing to reflect the growing mainstream web variations.

For example, print designers have always worked in kerning (the space between letters) and leading (the space between lines of type). Nowadays, these terms are commonly being replaced with “letter-spacing” and “line-height.” Not only do these web terms sound less like industry jargon, they’re much easier to understand. Someday, kerning and leading may be completely phased out of designers’ vocabulary!

Using the Same Tools

Probably the biggest similarity print and web designers share is the way they create their designs. Because of digital products like the Adobe Creative Suite, all designers can use tools that have a uniform look and encourage them to work across different platforms. Plus, this kind of technology has helped print designers become more proficient when it comes to file sizing and compression. Once again, as more and more designers work in both mediums, they will make sure all of their pieces can easily be optimized for the web.

As the design industry continues to evolve, designers will learn how to integrate the best parts of each kind of design into their own practice. It’s certain that the print design realm has seen some drastic changes over the years, but web design could easily be taking tips and inspiration from print design in the near future. No matter what the future holds, one thing is for sure: the design world, both print and web, has come a long way and still has plenty of new things to show us all.

To learn more about print or web design, contact GreenMellen Media today!

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Ali Green

Co-Founder and Creative Director
Schooled in both design and marketing, Ali adds the analytical skills of an engineer to complicated digital marketing strategies.

View Ali's Profile

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