Do you print a website design for your clients to approve?

Posted on July 5, 2010


If you design websites as part of your job, do you ever print off the designs so that your clients can approve them? The reason I ask this questions is because some years ago I worked for a design agency that insisted on printing off website designs in order to review them, and to present them to clients. They were of course a print design agency by trade, and printing proofs of designs was the accepted way of reviewing them because, of course, with a print design the final product would also be printed.

However, a website design is never intended to be printed; it’s a digital media. A website design is intended to be seen on a computer screen (or even a TV screen or mobile phone these days) and printing one off doesn’t give you an accurate representation of what the design will look like when it is live.

For one thing, the colours on a website design are RGB, because they’re not intended for the printed media – therefore printing the design doesn’t give you an accurate image.

Secondly, website designs are designed to exist on a screen that expands depending on the resolution of the user. Depending on the size of the content, they also scroll – printed designs do not do this, they’re a fixed format.

Website designs are interactive and intended to live on a screen, rather than being a tactile product that you can touch and feel like a brochure or catalogue – printing them off is both inaccurate and unnecessary. It’s also misleading for the client in many ways.

When you design websites for clients you should demonstrate the website designs digitally, rather than in print form – as that is how they will eventually be used.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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