There are quite a few key differences that need to be considered for artwork for web and print design.
First up, users viewing artwork on a screen is very different to physically holding print in your hands. This leads on to making the artwork user friendly. It’s very straightforward to design artwork for print, as there are set dimensions that need to be adhered to. However, artwork for web needs to consider a wide range of screen sizes, and ideally is responsive. The designer needs to make good use of the design space to ensure the artwork gives the most effective result i.e. the layout. Artwork for print can be set out in a variety of styles, but of course must fit the constraints of the print area, artwork for web on the other hand can continuously been changed and updated using filters for example. Typically artwork for tablets and phones need to be organised in a column-type fashion.
Second, is resolution. This is effectively the quality of the artwork. Resolution is often referred to as DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (pixels per inch). DPI should be considered for print, a higher DPI means a higher density of dots printed (and therefore irrelevant for web design). PPI relates to the number of pixels that appear in an inch of space on the screen. Again, a higher PPI means a higher quality image.
Finally, file types. Without getting too technical, all file formats are either vector or raster. Raster images (e.g. PSD file type) are made up of pixels, and the quality changes depending on the resolution. Images that are enlarged beyond their resolution will look distorted. Vector images (e.g. AI file type) however, are not limited by pixels, they use maths equations instead, so they can be enlarged without becoming distorted and lower in quality. Common files types that can be used for both artwork for web and print design are JPEG, PDF, EPS and PNG. A file type for print only artwork is TIFF, and web only are GIF and SVG.
Get in touch with Monster if you need help with artwork for web and print design. We can assist in all aspects of the process, from designing the artwork, to designing the website, to printing the artwork.
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