Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week One

What did you learn about graphic design and how does graphic design play a role in our daily lives and activities in both the print and web?

As a mother of two active children, a business owner, a college student and a full-time employee, variety, convenience and accessibility of information are the features of the web that attract me. My time is so limited and the time of day that I have available to research issues is typically late evening.

However, I must say because I am an avid reader, I still love print. I still get the daily newspaper, I read numerous magazines and I can appreciate a well organized textbook. I am a firm believer in balance and I despise spending any more time than necessary on the computer to save my eyesight.

I learned the difference between color in print (CMYK) vs. color on the web (RGB) which is far more versatile. By forcing us to define all the applicable terms, I learned the meaning of acronyms I use on a regular basis that I could not have told you what they meant such as URL. I have encountered the following in websites I use on a regular basis and didn’t realize they were necessarily “outdated features” standard grey, counters, under construction. I am glad I am learning what not to do.

I learned that narrower columns of text are the correct way and it makes sense because I also prefer that type of reading – magazine reading. Ahhh, a page you don’t have to scroll to see – now there’s a novelty. OK, maybe not so much anymore but there is definitely something to be said about the 800 x 600 pixel web page. Vague links are a pet peeve of mine so the underlined link is a good recommendation. Site maps are awesome. I recently learned these existed and it has made my navigating experience so much better. I love the “last updated” feature – this is great for those of us with busy schedules. I love the “last updated” feature – this is great for those of us with busy schedules. There is nothing more annoying than no feedback feature.
I love the thumbnail theory. There is nothing worse than clicking on a link to a picture that is enormous.

Dark backgrounds drive me crazy. I was hoping to see that as part of the “don’t do” column. I am sure it is used to deter people from printing web pages but I find it highly annoying.

What is your understanding of designing for the web vs. design for print?

Advantages of Web:
Web publishing is far less expensive than print.
Web is interactive, print is not.
With Web you have unlimited pages in which navigation is key where in print you usually only have one page to get your message across.
In the Web your space is measured in pixels whereas in print your space is measured in inches. In Web design you must consider all sizes and resolutions of monitors whereas in print you know the size from start to finish and your reader always sees the same product.
In print colors can be “proofed” and are picked from a palette whereas on the web colors can vary from one monitor to another and they are represented in “hexadecimal values” (6 digit numbers). Your range of colors on the web is vast in comparison to print.
Cross marketing and ease of information distribution is a huge plus for the Web vs. print.
Ease of responding on the web is invaluable.
Sound and animation are always attention getters on the web and not available in print.

One common thread between the two is the challenge to keep up with technology in both the print and web industry.

Advantages of Print:
Print is faster viewing, no download times.
Print is more easily transported in most cases.
Print is cheaper to read.
Though we are getting more comfortable with the web, for most people print is more familiar.
Since electronic devices and water do not mix, print is more easily read in the hot tub.
Print has been around a lot longer and is therefore a more developed tool.
Print is more predictable.

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