We often think in terms of art imitating life and most of the time our web design is intended to reflect real-world advertising. But for businesses that spend more time online than in other mediums, it can be a challenge to make life match their art.
It’s easy to forget that in spite of this digital world we live in, it’s important to make sure that we are engaging in off-line work that supports everything we do on the web. Often times that may mean creating marketing materials that are tangible. But if the majority of what we do is web based, then everything else we create should support that in content and visual conception.
Most businesses still have to produce printed materials at some time or another. Even businesses which exist exclusively online may find an occasion to create flyers, business cards or banners for mandatory in-person networking situations. When that happens, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel, it’s actually much more practical to translate your website in print.
The problem is often that some things which work on the web become more complicated as we try to put them on paper. Things like logos or other images can lose some of their impact when taken out of the format they were created for. Of course the best thing to do is to consider versatility during the original design process. But, if it’s too late for that, you have to work with what you’ve got.
A professional printing company may have the facilities to make more accurate reproductions in terms of color and scale than your in-house printer. With more advanced printing equipment they may be able to re-create colors and clarity in a way that some simpler cartridge based printers may not. But depending on the volume of printing required this can, of course, get expensive.
Make Slight Changes
If outsourcing is out, then perhaps a monochromatic version of a logo or a slightly simplified interpretation can be used more successfully. Obviously perfect reproductions are ideal, but sometimes that’s just not possible. What is most crucial is that the essence of the logo can be re-created on paper to evoke the same instantaneous recognition that the web logo does.
Layout and Content
While doing something completely different can be a terrific creative outlet for any designer, sometimes it’s better to go for a more straightforward website reproduction. Aside from a logo, there are plenty of other web conventions that can be used in printed materials.
Incorporate Multiple Design Elements
In more elaborate the materials like books, brochures, newsletters or reports there is room to incorporate much more than just the logo. Obviously we don’t want our work to look like simply a print-out of the website, but by maintaining some of the design standards it can look like an appropriate companion piece.
Keep the Layout Similar
Aside from keeping the logo in a standard header position, layout can be translated pretty easily on paper. You can take the broadest conventions from a site design and utilize them to construct your overall appearance. For example columns, fonts, color schemes and sectioning can all be replicated in print.
Use Your Existing Content
Printed materials don’t have to be filled with all of the same information as the website would be, and the similar design will keep a level of conformity between printed materials and a site. But you content can also contribute to the unity. You can always use pictures and other signature graphic elements to marry the two mediums together successfully.
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