Difference Between Print vs Digital Design

Difference between print vs digital design

Let’s forget the difference between print vs digital design and first start with a similarity between the two- which is graphic designing. Both print and digital develop the designs through the graphic designing medium. 

Once print designs and graphic design were synonyms, back then, the designing was done for print media only.

Nonetheless, the internet changed everything for designing and broadened its horizon to digital designs. 

However, differences arise in the placement of the design, i.e. when an e-template is sold and purchased on Etsy for digital purposes and use, it is a digital design. But if a seller sells an e-template that the buyer can print and use, like a diary or journal, it is a print design. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The key difference between Print vs Digital Design
  • Definition of print and digital design 
  • Pros and cons of digital design and print design
  • Web designing and app designing both come under digital design
  • Digital billboards are part of digital design

What is Print Design

Any design you can see in a tangible material or place is a print design. 

Print designers conceptualize their end design and art to be printed in physical form on materials like; paper, cloth, plastic, wall, etc. But are not responsible for printing; that part comes under printers.

Any design you can see in a tangible material or place is a print design. Earlier, these designs were done through mechanical technologies such as letterpress and lithography. 

Now Designers require a high level of proficiency and skill in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign etc.  

Examples of Print Designs

  • Newspaper 
  • Billboards 
  • Magazines 
  • Greeting cards
  • Book covers
  • Prints on clothes
  • Ceramics

What is Digital Design

What is Digital Design

At the heart, digital design is any presentation or design that’s developed and viewed on a digital platform, including desktops, phones, or digital billboards. What differentiates digital design is that you can see and interact with these designs digitally only.  

Digital design coverage is a lot more vast and versatile; it is not limited to traditional styles, i.e. creating designs for ebooks, templates, or flyers. It expanded its reach to designing a website, its theme, tracking users’ journey on site, making it look more visually aesthetic and many more.

Nowadays, digital designs are in great use. 

Examples of Digital Design

Difference Between Print vs Digital Design

What is Digital Design


Print and web design can both engage the senses of users in various ways. But one Key difference between digital and print design is where and how a design will end up after printing- In a physical form or digital platform.

Accessibility or Reach

The reach of print design is restricted to only the area or locality where it is published, digital content is capable of reaching a global audience for the business. 


Publishing designs on digital platforms incur a minimal or lesser cost,  on the contrary, print designs cost a lot more, and the degree may vary from material to material.

To print a design on textile could be higher than to print one template, but the quantity of templates can increase the cost.  

Environment Friendly

Finished print design wastes a lot of resources that, includes paper and non-organic ink usage. On the other hand, digital designs are more environmentally friendly.

Must Read: Secret Meaning Behind Logo Colors

Pros of Print and Digital Design

Pros of Print Design

  1. It enables local or regional level audience targeting. 
  2. Benefits of print design include easy campaign execution.
  3. Tangible aspects of designs can create personalized connections.
  4. Print designs are portable.
  5. The life of print design is longer. They exist with audiences even after the campaign is over.

Pros of Digital Design

  1. You can work from home or any part of the world.
  2. It is an artistic lane of work- boost your creativity and visualization.  
  3. With more work exposure and no industry barrier-cause, every industry needs digital design. 
  4. Gain competitive compensation. 
  5. With the internet boom, employment opportunities for digital design are flooding in. 

Cons of Print and Digital Design

Cons of Print Design

  1. Printing and distribution increase the cost of print design.
  2. Print designs are limited in reach, depriving access to global reach. 
  3. Printing paper and ink are ecologically unfriendly.
  4. These can not be updated easily. 
  5. It is hard to measure results and can’t determine the count of impressions it receives. 

Cons of Digital Design

  1. Editing can be exhaustive and never-ending.  
  2. Digital designing requires a keen eye for creativity and command over advanced tools like Adobe software. 
  3. Working hours can stretch more than usual to finish projects within a deadline.
  4. A whole day sitting in front of computers can impact health adversely.
  5. Digital designs are relatively new and involve uncertainty. 

What to Choose in 2022: Print or Digital Design

Digital designs are far more relevant In 2022. Digital designs are more interactive and have variable use cases. 

On social media platforms, users interact in real time with designs. User involvement is part of digital design.

The subsets of digital design, the UX, focus on enhancing user journey and experience on the websites. It dedicatedly designs websites from the user’s point of view and how they will interact with the site. 

And UI, also known as user interface, looks after the aesthetic part of a website like- colour, font, the theme of the website, logo designs, etc.  

In 2022 digital designs will be far more beneficial for businesses and organizations. 


Both digital and print designs are visual forms of communication, out of which many might feel that print design is history and digital design is the future. 

Well, I agree partially; Digital Design is the future, but Print Design serves its own purpose

For any business or organization, incorporating a hybrid system can bring great results. Where digital designs are fully optimized, and print design brings personal connection with the audience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between print and digital media?

Newspapers, billboards, magazines, and brochures are print media, whereas digital media includes web pages, digital images and video, social media, websites etc.

What is digital design?

Digital media is a form of communication through visual and presentation through the digital platform. Communication can be anything, information, product etc.

Is digital design a good career?

Digital media is an in-demand career; people often confuse it with graphic design, but that is just a subset. 
Many high-paying careers like web design and UI/UX come under it. 
Every small, medium, and large business has a web presence and heavily relies on digital design services.

What comes under digital design?

Graphic designer 
Animation designer
Web designer 
App designer 
UI/UX designer
Banner ads
App icon 
Product designer
Interaction designer
Powerpoint template design etc.

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