has only seconds to capture a viewer’s
attention, so needless words and complex
navigation should be avoided. There is a
vast difference between how a designer
thinks a viewer uses the site and how they
actually use them.”
FROM PRINT TO WEB:
THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR ONLINE DESIGN
BY RON POWELL
or those of us who
began our design
careers with layout
markers, Rapidograph pens, triangles
and T-squares, the
arrival of the desktop
computer as a design
tool has been both
an improvement and a challenge. There
are important factors to consider before
taking that initial leap into Web design.
This article offers some insight into
those challenges as well as tips for overcoming them.
Unlike in print projects, the Web designer
does not necessarily have total control of
the final product. Various Web browsers,
page download capabilities, and speed of
intranet access are some of the challenges
Web pages face once the site is live. Web
designers also have to learn to choose
fonts and graphics that will translate the
print design into Web design.
LN Vaillancourt, graphic designer, Association Management Center, recently completed a redesign of both the monthly
e-newsletter and Web site for the Professional Association of Healthcare Office
Management [see example in next column].
“As a designer moving from print to
Web, important considerations are browser
varieties, monitor sizes, fonts, file size,
functionality, ease of navigation and the
color palette,” Vaillancourt says. “Print
requires high-resolution images for production, while Web demands low-resolu-tion images for quick uploads. A Web site
Designers love to use just the right fonts
and usually have hundreds, if not thousands, to choose from. But if you want
your Web pages to download quickly, you
need to have most of your text in Web html
fonts, and the choices are fairly limited.
Fonts installed on both PCs and Macs
that are considered “safe” include arial,
arial black, comic sans ms, courier, courier
new, georgia, helvetica, impact, palatino,
times new roman, trebuchet ms and ver-dana. If you use a font that the end user
does not have installed on his or her
computer, a default font will be substituted; this may or may not have an effect
on the way the page is displayed.
Of course, headlines and graphics
using fonts can always be saved as pixel-based images and inserted into the Web
page, but this will increase the download
time of the Web page.
The main consideration to keep in
mind when designing a Web page is how
the fonts will be displayed on a variety of
computers, operating systems and Web
IMAGE AND GRAPHICS
The printing industry standards for high
resolution are not the same as for the
Web. The Web primarily uses low resolution, fast downloading images and graphics, which come in a variety of file types,
resolutions, color spaces and formats.
The basic “still” or static graphic formats
are GIF, JPEG and PNG.
• JPEG is a format that was specifically
developed to use with photographic
images. This format can use 24 bits of
color information to display millions of