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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast robcg's Avatar
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    Angry Web Designers vs Print Designers

    In building some web sites over the last few months, some clients have had me work with their print person to design and build out his web site. These are print people and generally have no idea what it takes to build a web site.

    They give me their nice layouts done in Quark or as a pdf file and they have a hard time understanding why it can't look EXACTLY like it is in their layout.

    I try my best to explain all the inconsistencies between web and print but somehow never make myself clear as I would like.

    My company is thinking of giving out some document explaining these inconsistencies before we start building out the web site so they have an idea what to expect and we don't waste so much time.

    I have an idea of some key points to put into that document but I was wondering if anyone knew of a web site or where I could get more information on this.

    Thanks.

    Robert
    for web design visit:
    www.rcgodina-design.com

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I once did a site in conjunction with a print designer.....well they did the original, I had to do a re-design, because the print designer's version was not a very useful site....

    Unfortunately I dont know any sites with info that you are after.....However, you are best just setting out your own points, you will get a better fit with your process as well.....

    cheers

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict goma's Avatar
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    I've had my share of problems with print designers. It mostly stems from their lack of understanding and appreciation of the web as a medium. In their corner of the design world, it's pretty much cut and dried. As long as the colors don't get screwed up by the printer, their work is truly wysiwyg.
    http://www.soapbox101.com

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast robcg's Avatar
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    that's true, i think some of them do not appreciate the web as a medium. for them they design something and it comes out just like them designed it. for us, there are so many more variables to be aware of and to me that makes it more challenging.

    is there a print designer here who then learned web design? i'm interested to know what you had trouble with and what was easy to learn.

    thanks.

    robcg
    for web design visit:
    www.rcgodina-design.com

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
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    Just for the record there are many many problems we print designers have to deal with which web designers don't, it's a problem that cuts both ways fellas

    I did find designing web pages quite infuriating at first, things just didn't stay where they were put!

    My major pet hates about web design (this is a generalisation, and any web designer worth his salt will not do any of them)

    Times New Roman: This is a beautiful type face, easy to read and easy on the eye when it is used for what it was designed in narrow columns, correctly kerned and leaded, i.e. in a newspaper and only in a newspaper!
    Line lengths that disappear over the horizon.
    White Rivers. This is not always the fault of the designer but the copywriter, a little careful editing can eliminate this eyesore, even on floating width sites. Because the web is so 'instant' does not mean publish without thought.
    Bad use of white space.
    Clutter, this is one I just don't understand, in print every new page we add to a document add a considerable cost to the finished job, on the web it's free (or almost) yet designers insist on squashing as much together as possible. The term Above The Fold comes from the newspaper printing industry, it's the most important part of a daily paper, the bit that grabs the purchasers eye, it's also the most sought after and expensive advertising position. A lot of web designers (and print designers) can learn a hell of lot by studying the newspaper heavy weights.

    Anyway to your question
    1. Justified columns are hard to reproduce cross browser compatible.
    2. Page weight is important, graphic rich designs look great and can reproduce to print very nicely but can slow pages to a crawl.
    3. Images are 72dpi not 300+ and careful choice of images can reduce page weight.
    4. You do not have access to the entire Linotype Font Library!
    5. Your design could well be rendered in anyone of 4 or 5 fonts depending on the viewers browser/OS
    6. Your design could well be rendered in ANY font available to the viewer if that is what they have chosen in their browser.
    Just a few to get you going.

  6. #6
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    i agree with sowen.

    it goes both ways. many print designers don't understand web designers and it goes around in a cycle. it is mainly a lack of understanding the parameters in each medium.

    when i was in high school, i was trained in different mediums. with that said, i was able to adapt myself to new techniques and technologies in the design industry whenever possible. many people don't have the luxury of learning those mediums. such as learning to do screen printing, which many don't understand as well as traditional offset printing, which have little to do with design. yet, it is something that many of us have to learn sooner or later to be the best at we can do.

    i find web "designing" to be much more forgiving and easier to do. only in the sense that in printing, you always have to keep in mind about budget. is it going to be printed in how many colors, what size, special cuts, how many pages, special inks, and such. you are very limited in creating piece because of those obstacles. where in web design, number of color is not a factor. what is a factor is navigation and a piece being flat as well as things not staying put as you wanted it to.

    the best thing to do is find someone who is a mainly a print designer who understands the aspects of web design to explain it in their terms to remove a lot of confusion.
    visualnewbie
    www.LapadaVisual.com
    visual communication through digital + print media

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict psychedelic's Avatar
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    what not just not work with the print designers? design ur stuff and afterwards if u want to, get input from them just to get input. but really u don't need them, heh.

    i do print design for a newspaper and i have no idea what u guys are talking about when u say 'lack of communcation & understanding of different mediums' lol. but then again, i learned web design first.
    The Internet is prettier on a Mac.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    that's the point. there are people who are capable of doing multiple mediums and there are those who are not or at least choose not to. an example: some people are just web "designers" and do not understand the parameters of web developers. especially when customers/clients think they are same. they are not. therefore yes, there is a lack of communication and understanding of differnent mediums.

    Originally posted by psychedelic
    what not just not work with the print designers? design ur stuff and afterwards if u want to, get input from them just to get input. but really u don't need them, heh.

    i do print design for a newspaper and i have no idea what u guys are talking about when u say 'lack of communcation & understanding of different mediums' lol. but then again, i learned web design first.
    visualnewbie
    www.LapadaVisual.com
    visual communication through digital + print media

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot slandry's Avatar
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    I actually do both print and web design for a weekly magazine. I work along side both print and web designers all day long and this debate often comes up. Most print designers understand the RGB/CMYK and resolution issues. What most print designers have a difficult time with is curved lines, HTML structure, font issues, and layering images.

    I try to explain it to them by saying: "It's like designing in Excel". They start to get it. Even though it looks like it has a curved edge, the graphic is still a rectangle.

    Like most arguements it usually comes down to exposure to the other sides point of view.

    If you are in the position to do so, have the designers switch jobs for a day and the issues usually resolve themselves.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict goma's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sowen
    I did find designing web pages quite infuriating at first, things just didn't stay where they were put!

    My major pet hates about web design (this is a generalisation, and any web designer worth his salt will not do any of them)

    Times New Roman: This is a beautiful type face, easy to read and easy on the eye when it is used for what it was designed in narrow columns, correctly kerned and leaded, i.e. in a newspaper and only in a newspaper!
    Line lengths that disappear over the horizon.
    White Rivers. This is not always the fault of the designer but the copywriter, a little careful editing can eliminate this eyesore, even on floating width sites. Because the web is so 'instant' does not mean publish without thought.
    Bad use of white space.
    Clutter, this is one I just don't understand, in print every new page we add to a document add a considerable cost to the finished job, on the web it's free (or almost) yet designers insist on squashing as much together as possible. The term Above The Fold comes from the newspaper printing industry, it's the most important part of a daily paper, the bit that grabs the purchasers eye, it's also the most sought after and expensive advertising position. A lot of web designers (and print designers) can learn a hell of lot by studying the newspaper heavy weights.

    Anyway to your question
    1. Justified columns are hard to reproduce cross browser compatible.
    2. Page weight is important, graphic rich designs look great and can reproduce to print very nicely but can slow pages to a crawl.
    3. Images are 72dpi not 300+ and careful choice of images can reduce page weight.
    4. You do not have access to the entire Linotype Font Library!
    5. Your design could well be rendered in anyone of 4 or 5 fonts depending on the viewers browser/OS
    6. Your design could well be rendered in ANY font available to the viewer if that is what they have chosen in their browser.
    Just a few to get you going.
    Actually, I do use some print design techniques in web design. I keep my menus and content above the fold i.e. visible on the browser at the resolution I work on without scrolling.

    I use grids to keep my layouts consistent. I'm not a graphic designer by training so I haven't used this technique to the fullest.

    I'd like to have more typographic control but until that happens, I'll have to live with the rivers.

    I sure would like to learn more print design tips and how they apply to the web.
    http://www.soapbox101.com

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    I designed print for 4 years before I began designing for the web. I actually found the transition to be quite painless. So much so that I'd get angry when I would read articles in print design mags about web design that used phases such as, "The dreaded HTML...," and "Those that dare to look at the source code..."

    There are things I love and hate about both mediums. I hate it that my designs didn't look exactly the same online and in all browsers, but I've learned to accept that.

    I love it that a spelling mistakes can be easily fixed. (Try explaining to a print client why it's not your fault that his company name is mispelled in 10,000 copies of his brochure because he signed off on the proof!)

    Both web and print designers deal with highly technical issues that can baffle the other. Perhaps this link will help:

    http://www.wpdfd.com/

    "...aimed at people who are already involved with design and typography for conventional print..."


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