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The Fundamentals of Web and Print Layout

Graphic designers often specialize in one genre, either print or web. However, it is important to be familiar with both areas of design. While both genres incorporate elements of typography, images, and navigation, each uses them in different ways.

Print Layout

Printed materials offer a static appearance; the size, fonts, colors, and navigation will look the same for every user. Thus printed materials like magazines, books, and brochures offer greater control over the user’s viewing experience, since they ensure consistently identical results. When designing materials for print, it is necessary to keep several factors in mind:

Web Layout

On the web, elements of layout like page width, colors, and fonts are fluid, because they depend on the settings of each viewer’s web browser. While web layout borrows many principles from print practices, it also has its own limitations and capabilities. Designing layout for the web requires awareness of several web-specific guidelines:

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Although print and web layout share many layout commonalities, each medium has its own idiosyncrasies. Paying attention to these factors will drastically improve the layout quality of both print and web documents.