Many of the first Web designers were originally and primarily print designers who migrated from print publishing to electronic publishing. Today, many employers want employees who are proficient in both print and Web design and publishing. If you've focused primarily on the print world, one way to expand your job opportunities is by learning Web design -- beyond how to put up a small personal Web page or set up a blog.
Although desktop publishing and Web design have a common ancestry
, they aren't the same. Yes, there are certain similarities -- such as text, graphics, color, and need for clear navigation -- but Web design has it's own set of challenges and design parameters.
Doing Web design professionally takes more than just knowing how to make cool Web graphics or how to create a Web page. You'll need to learn the basic mechanics and technical specifics of Web publishing as well. But for Web design work, do focus heavily on the graphics and layout. Like print design, Web design is about composition but there are differences.
Many of today's page layout programs have Web publishing features as well. But are they the best tools for the job, or do you need a program specifically for Web design? And what programs do potential employers expect you to know how to use?
There's more to Web design than making pretty pages. You'll need to learn the language behind Web page and Web site construction and navigation. At the minimum you'll need to know the basics of HTML
but ideally you'll delve into XML
Your knowledge of the elements and principles of design, typography, color, and images in the print world will help you on the Web. But there are important differences that you'll need to learn and learn well.