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Print or Web? or Both?

There are many scenarios:

1. You are a print designer who had been doing print work for many years, then 1998 came around and you were forced to do web design to survive.

2. You luckily graduated around the late ’90s with little or no training in web design but managed to land a great job for some start-up company of for some variation of Razorfish/Sapient/iXL/Organic/m1

3. You never studied graphic design but learned the tools of the trade from your parents’ basement and now know way more about design than you ever intended to.

4. You are in your 40’s and truly don’t embrace the web and regard it as the devil’s work

5. You are a print designer who learned web design and now practices the best of both worlds.

These are just a few settings in which designers have had to manage print and web projects. But now that the dust has settled, where did you end up?

Print or Web? or both?

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
PUBLISHED ON Dec.10.2002 BY Armin
Josh Dura’s comment is:

I would have to say that I would fall into category #3. I started out JUST in web, but recently (past year or 3) started heavily getting into print work. It really does help a lot with the web work.

On Dec.10.2002 at 09:13 AM
Tom’s comment is:

Hi. My name is Tom. I am 35 years old, and I am a printaholic. I can't control my yearnings for the touch and aroma of fresh ink on paper. In fact, drawing and cutting and ripping and pasting and creating layouts without a computer at all makes me out right giddy. I know some see this as old fashioned and short sighted, but in web design, I have yet to find the satisfaction and freedom from sameness.

I appreciate the fine work some are doing on the web, where the technology is transparent to the graphic design. But, for the most part, I avoid client driven web projects.

And ohh, a package design gets my feet a dancn' and my heart a singn'!!!

On Dec.10.2002 at 09:28 AM
Martin’s comment is:

I'm a number three.

It all happened when I was about 14-15 years old and my father brought home a copy of Photoshop 5.0.

For years I just had it there for whenever I was doing some project in school or such.

Then about two and a half years ago I found myself working for an organisation as National Officer, and since we were low on money I did a lot of the smaller print-jobs myself. After a while I started buying a lot of books on both print and web-design and in May i started working as a freelancer.

I guess I had already been doing some very basic HTML and I was pretty much on the level with how the web works already. The big discovery came with Flash for me though.

I still think of myself as a rookie, even though I've had a few pretty big assignments. There is always so much to learn I feel.


On Dec.10.2002 at 10:10 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Formal training is in print, but had some good teachers at the time (early 90's)

Since I was the 'young kid' interning in 1996, I was tasked with figuring out the web.

I've been hooked ever since. Fortunately, I've been able to do my fair share of print work, along with things like letterpress printing to keep things varied.

On Dec.10.2002 at 10:21 AM
mark’s comment is:

Illustrator who loves design sees easy way to make money is to learn html and css programming!

On Dec.10.2002 at 10:36 AM
Steven’s comment is:

I would say I am in between a 5 and a 2. I started out at an agency doing print, shifted to doing both, left to go to a start-up doing NOTHING BUT web, and am now forcing owners to let me find print work to do.

I am finding more and more that I despise doing corporate web projects. But, I think it has more to do with the environment that I feel "stuck" in right now.

I think that my ultimate career situation would fall into the 5 category. I think a good balance of both types of projects would be quite fun and keep the job interesting.

On Dec.10.2002 at 10:36 AM
mGee’s comment is:

#3 here. I started out my first years at Maine College of Art thoroughly enamored by Flash...mostly due to the fact that the professor emphised how wonderful flash is.

Luckily that didn't satisfy me and I learned HTML...and then moved on to PHP and database scripting as well as designing the interface.

I was ABSOLUTELY going to be a web designer. Print design was soooo old school.

As I became more aquainted with print design and bored with the internet I began to change my views regarding print design. My view changed for good after finally having something I designed published. The fulfillment that you feel from holding something in your hands will always outweigh completing a website.

I'm definitely glad that I learned the web side of things first and then moved on to print. I would suggest to any aspiring designer to learn both worlds by focusing on each one in their turns.

My opinion about Flash now? DON'T MAKE COMPLETE WEBSITES WITH FLASH...PLEEEEEASE. As for that other Macromedia product that designers seem to be enamored by...dreamweaver. Don't use it. Learn HTML. Scripting it yourself allows for cleaner code and less of it.



On Dec.10.2002 at 10:53 AM
KM’s comment is:

I would have to say #4 with this revision.

You are in your mid-20's and truly don't embrace the web and regard it as the devil's work. : )

On Dec.10.2002 at 11:28 AM
Trish’s comment is:

6. A trained designer who went right into web and now has little real world experience in print, but now is a catch 22 position where people think that because I don't have recent print work in the portfolio I don't have that experience and can't do the job. Very frustrating I'll admit.

On Dec.10.2002 at 11:31 AM
Ben’s comment is:

err, 7: Someone who went to school starting in 1998 after reading too many Wired magazines and studied both design and computer science and now does print and web, with a little letterpressing thrown in for good measure.

In one job I do a lot of web design (though right now I'm of the opinion that most "web design" is mostly production and little design) in another I do both, and yet another I do mostly print and some web.

I agree that nothing feels the same as a printed piece, if for no other reason that when it is sent off and printed the client can't come back with a list of changes to make. The thing is done. On the web nothing is ever done it seems, there is always, "Well, what about..."

But I do love doing both, it just depends on which day you ask me.

On Dec.10.2002 at 11:39 AM
plain*clothes’s comment is:

my education/experience began in fine arts with an emphasis in pencil rendering, printmaking, and history. an _obsession_ with the latter two managed to mutate into a well developed curiosity regarding the many facets of design and typography. curosity mutated into professional aspirations thanks to some fantastic professors and acquaintances needing a cheap designer. so, here I am today.

print brings in the money. it's also the medium that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. the dimensionality of the finished project is a thing no other work can rival.

web and video are more about experimentation for me. I have a fair knowledge of web design and a good deal less about video, but I try to learn what I can as time permits. I've found that by exploring the functional requirements of user interfacing, my approach to print work has improved noticeably.

On Dec.10.2002 at 12:14 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I guess it's my turn...

I started out as a #2. I graduated from school in 1999 (remember this is in Mexico) where I didn't even know how to send an email. HTML was just crazy talk to me. When I landed the job at marchFIRST I quickly took a crash course in HTML, where I didn't learn much.

At m1 I didn't really need any HTML knowledge, since I was only designing and handing .psd's to programmers. My urge to learn HTML came from the first time a lazy programmer told me I couldn't use rounded corners in my designs because the coding would be too hard. Lazy bum. So I learned to code and do Flash in my spare time (which was most of the time).

Now, at Norman, I think I'm one of the few who fall under #5. I do the best of both world's. Lots of print projects along with some small web sites that don't require templates to fill 100's of pages. And since we are a small shop, it's great that I can do both print and web. That way we don't need to be hiring programmers to tell me I can't add a white stroke to a rectangle "'cause it messes with my code man."

But if I had to make a choice I would undoubtedly go with print. There is no comparison between the feeling you get when you open the box of samples (straight from the printer) and that fresh ink smell comes out and you get to hold your design, touch it and rub it and hold it to the light on all sorts of different angles... ; to the immediate feeling of FTP'ing a final site, although there is a certain giddines of knowing that "this is it, everybody can look at it now".

Just not the same.

On Dec.10.2002 at 01:15 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"and studied both design and computer science "

Bravo! We need more people like that.

On Dec.10.2002 at 01:51 PM
pk’s comment is:

independent study BFA in typographic design here, but went to thirst in 1994 (5?) and ended up an illustrator focusing on illustrated typography. go figure that one out. taught myself HTML in 1996, built the first and second iterations of thirstype.com by hand, moved to thirst2 (our brand-new baby web services office). learned dreamweaver/bbedit in 1998, lasted until The Herman Miller Project From Hell in 2000, then went to a web agency...where i focused on print design (because nobody else knew how).

got dot-commed in 2001. went jobless until last week.

currently: dimensional (HUGE) typography for environmental display. this industry is sooooo weird right now—but at least i'll be well-rounded.

On Dec.10.2002 at 04:21 PM
Jon’s comment is:

I guess I fall closest to #4, even though I'm only 32! I graduated in '95, before the web really blew up. I don't completely disregard the web, as I find it quite useful, but just don't feel drawn to designing for it. I think that's my reaction to always working on a computer and needing that tactile sensation of paper as proof of a job well done. Plus, carpal tunnels and all, I'd rather not learn HTML and become a programmer.

A further reaction to all things digital: I've collected wood type for the past several years, and hope to eventually open up a small letterpress shop.

On Dec.10.2002 at 05:35 PM
guy’s comment is:

I'll take a #5. With a deep bias for print. Nothing more satisfying than cradling a piece that has been delivered from the screen to the press.

On Dec.10.2002 at 06:19 PM
mGee’s comment is:

"A further reaction to all things digital: I've collected wood type for the past several years, and hope to eventually open up a small letterpress shop."

Bravo!! We need more folks keeping it true school!



On Dec.11.2002 at 05:12 PM
Christopher May’s comment is:


Went into art college (OCAD) thinking I was going to proclaim my life as an erotic artist.

- ended up graduating in advertising.

landed my first job while still in school at Modem Media. Got my feet wet in the medium and decided to stick around.

On Dec.11.2002 at 09:36 PM