Friday, November 7, 2008

Print vs Online: The Deal About Design

Online media can be noted to be of a higher advantage when it comes to the debate of which is the better publication. Of course, each has its own advantages (and disadvantages) but both practises the principle of multimodality.

Print material can have text accompanied with images - the text can vary in font and arrangement, and the image can be designed or even just a simple photograph. Web-based media, on the other hand, can incorporate moving images, sound, text - all in various forms. According to Walsh (2006), readers of the content on the Internet are more 'involved' and can choose their reading pathways with the different hyperlinks presented whereas the multimodality of print based is usually linear in its reading pathway.

Take the National Geographic in its print and online form as an example:

The Cover of the National Geographic Magazine

Print design is much simpler with few images (or in this case, one image) and play with typography. Readers can read the information quite easily.

The National Geographic Website

Here there are several ways for the reader to engage with the information on site, not to mention the additional flash images for advertisement and links to topics in the website.


Walsh, M 2006, The ‘textual shift’: Examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 24-35.

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