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Embracing the Medium

August 21, 2007

Khoi Vinh wrote an article for print designers who want to get into Web design. I think he makes some good points about how designing for the Web is a different discipline than print design. He addresses one of my pet peeves of an over reliance on Flash that I have observed many print designers use. It is a valuable article for any print designer wanting to expand to the Web. As a Web designer I found it an interesting read.

The prerequisite for doing something meaningful with any of these skills —€” HTML, CSS, Flash or whatever —€” is first embracing the medium as something different from print. Indeed, there’€™s no point in learning these skills unless as a print designer you’ve made a prior shift in your understanding of how design works in digital media. Specifically, come to grips with the fact that, on the Web, design is not a method for implementing narrative, as it is in print, but rather it’€™s a method for making behaviors possible.

I liked how he makes the distinction between print and Web design.

  • Print design is a method for implementing narrative
  • Web design is a method for making behaviors possible

The Web is about interaction and behavior. It is a fundamental paradigm that anyone working in the Web needs to understand and embrace.

For me, one of the ways that I still need to embrace the medium is in the area of typography (see related post). I am still seeking too much control and need to embrace the fluidity of the medium. But I am embracing it and looking to grow more in this area.

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