Print Design vs. Digital Design

Print Design vs. Digital Design


Have you ever wondered how prints are made? Did you know that there are actually different types of prints? Nowadays, modern graphic designers utilise a myriad of ways to bring their graphic designs to life. Two ways by which they can do this is through print design or digital design.

You might be wondering: what’s the difference between print designs and digital designs? One of these designs is a bit more traditional, while the other has evolved into a more modern platform. If you would like to learn more about print designs vs. digital designs, feel free to continue learning below.

What Is Print Design?

Print design is commonly used for physical publications such as newspapers, periodicals, flyers, and more. Given that we live in a technology-driven world nowadays, the design will most likely be made on a digital platform to be printed on a material such as paper cardboard, plastic, and much more. Digital print designs are especially useful for brand awareness and marketing purposes.

What Is Digital Design?

A digital design can be defined as a presentation or design that is both developed and viewed on a digital platform. Essentially, they are specifically developed for use on digital platforms and can include graphics posted on social media, websites, emails, and more. 

Print Design Vs. Digital Design

There are a couple of factors that differ between print design and digital design. They are the following:

1). Changeability and Lifecycle

Compared to print designs, digital designs are known to have their changes more easily previewed and tested at every turn. They offer flexibility in that you can test variations before settling on a practical design.

For print design, this might be a little different as sometimes you may need to tweak the final batch here and there. However, that does not mean that printed mediums variations cannot be tested. Rather, it just takes more planning when it comes to settling on a final design.

2). Engagement

Engagement is one of the main differences between print design and digital design. Viewers interact with a digital design primarily on internet spaces, where viewers want designs to be easily navigable, intuitive, and clear.

Printed designs are often interacted with physically. Its appeal will be linked to its functionality–for example, is the design seen in passing? Choosing an effective printed design means understanding how and where a viewer will encounter the design.

3). Senses

Printed designs can easily engage with their viewers because it does so on a physical level. You can consider elements such as the texture and weight of the print material that you are conserving. Additionally, you can consider extra design elements such as embossed lettering for a more complex sense of the touch.

Digital designs, meanwhile, have a harder time engaging with its viewers because it does not engage them with the sense of touch. Visuals are often far away and sensory-design thinking often makes viewers feel detached from digital designs.

4). Space and Layout

Space and layout is another distinguishing factor between print and digital designs. While printed mediums have a finite space to work with, digital prints are free from space constraints. However, the concept of scale and sizing in digital designing is more abstract than it is in print.

5). Colour and Resolution

Designing for print and the web deals with various value systems for both colour and resolution. Digital designs often use PPI and RGB for image quality, while print designs often use DPI and CMYK measurements. 

PPI determines an image’s complexity of its composition, thus determining how large an image can be displayed. Designers for the web must establish a balance between high PPI but not too high as it can slow down the page load speed. 

Meanwhile, DPI, or dots per inch, refers to the density of pigment spacing in a printed image. It determines how tightly the ink dots are concentrated on a print.

As such, for print and digital designs, there are different ways to scale up and measure the colour and resolution of the designs themselves.


Print designs and digital designs are the main types of designs that appear today. While both are often created digitally, they are built for different purposes: digital print designs are meant to be printed on materials, while digital designs stay in online spaces. 

If you are looking for the best quality digital printing with the most competitive prices, please contact us at Impact Digital today on (03) 9387 0999 or email us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Uploading files, Please wait...