Print vs digital graphic design for your small business

What is print design? 

Print design is a media type used in the physical world – you can hold a print media in your hands. More than likely the designing will be done on the computer but the end product will be printed. This media type covers a lot of items, including the standard paper print – brochures, flyers, labels, posters and business cards, however this is not all this method also includes shopping bags, t-shirts and other clothing items. 

What is web design?

Web design in Manchester is the more modern way of designing in the media world. This media type is everything you see online. I really mean everything – someone had to design everything on each website. Web design is viewed on the computer, mobile or any device with a web connection. 

Print vs digital graphic design for your small business


Let’s start off on a positive note for print design. Since the print is a physical copy it is using more of your sense; you can see, smell and feel the media. You can change how a person interacts with your printed design by using different paper, embossed lettering or even make your printed design smell like your fragrance. 

You need to consider how people will handle your design;

  • What is the texture? 
  • How much does the paper weigh?
  • Is it visually appealing?
  • Does it stimulate your scent sense?

By having your design stimulate a person at a multi sensory level they will engage with your product much more. 

Although web design can’t interact with a person’s touch or smell senses it can interact with visual and hearing senses. This can be a useful tool because as well as a visually appealing design a video or music could be incorporated onto your design. This is a much cheaper way to stimulate your audience than print design. 


In Terms of costing it can be an expensive process for both sides, especially print. To actually design something is usually completed online to get the higher quality. This is expensive because the industry giants Adobe owns the majority of the market and prices their service at roughly £500 (for all apps) I know many small businesses simply cannot afford this for a design app. 

That is totally understandable therefore i’m going to give you a few applications which i have used recently which are very good, not as good as adobe, but have very respectable performances; 

  • A free substitute for photoshop I definitely recommend GIMP. This is a fantastic app and you can produce high quality edits. 
  • Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe illustrator. This is brilliant and you can make high quality vectors and designs. 

If you can securely afford adobe then 100% go for it but just know that there are free alternatives.


This is key, make sure you triple check your design for flaws and faults before you print your design. If you don’t the costs can add up quickly on wasted material because once you print you cannot change the design. Think of a newspaper vs news app; if something big happens when the paper has been printed they will need to wait another 24 hours until they print again, however the news app can update nearly instantly. Print is useful when you know the subject or information won’t change. Web design is extremely versatile and doesn’t really need to worry about this as a problem. 


Web and print use different colours believe it or not. Digital designers use RGB and print uses CMYK, this is important because RGB has more colour choice and cannot be printed like CMYK. RGB are the red, green and blue dots on your computer screen which shows everything you see. It is important to understand the difference between the two. 


This is just a start of what you need to know about print vs digital designs. Do your own research and increase your knowledge about your desired subject. To understand which type of design is best for you, you need to understand your market for example you would use printed design as much for a social media website, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push boundaries.