Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Website design vs. graphic design


Now within my second month here at LogicMaze, I've already had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects - and begin to learn a lot more about web design. This will probably be a topic that I return to on a regular basis, but my interest has been prompted by a number of clear distinctions I see between graphic design for print media and website design. These are my own observations, to be added to or revised with experience.

Having most recently been doing graphic design work for vehicle and fleet graphics, the first distinction I notice between that design end and web design is proximity. Whereas in print design to be applied to an automobile, truck, or semi-trailer - you have a responsibility to create an appealing design that is also effective in terms of it's viewable range. Meaning, if you can read the pertinent info on a vehicle from 150 ft away instead of just 30 ft away, you have greatly increased the number of visible impressions that graphic can make for the client.

But in the case of web content and website design, this is just one of many differences. The proximity of your target audience is reasonably fixed within a very narrow range - anywhere between 18-36 inches. And because of that very personal range, the website designer has the leeway, if not the need, to focus more on the clarity and relevance of his content - albeit in a structured and appealing fashion.
That is not to say that quality of content doesn't play a part in good or effective graphic design for print media. It does. But my impression is that it plays a much more important role in website design, where the audience is up close and personal, often sitting comfortably, and usually searching in an active manner for information.

By no means meant to come across sounding like a doctoral dissertation, these are my own personal observations made from within my new, and very enjoyable, career with LogicMaze.com. You will learn from my entries here that I'm not bashful about sharing my opinions and observations, nor about revising them as necessary.

Look for more entries along these lines, and feel free to post your comments to offer your own insight into the differences, similarities, and relative importance of these two design media. Let's just say I'm happy to be able to soak up so much new and fascinating information in my new career.

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