We often get requests to take a design we created for one use, and adapt it for another use. An example would be an ad in one size to another size. The more we know from the onset about the various uses a client envisions, the better. For example, it’s fairly obvious that this Mona Lisa will take some new design work to adapt:
Because you can’t simply stretch and resize a design. And we wouldn’t be happy with that, and neither would the client.
Square Peg, Round Hole
Another common request is a print version (i.e., PDF) of an HTML web page or email design, to be used not just by clients reviewing our work, but to provide to their customers. This means it will need to print well on an office printer, which typically means printing onto standard size sheets of paper (i.e., 8.5” x 11). If a web page is the equivalent of 8” in width, but 28” long, now it needs to be cut into three pieces. More often than not the width is actually too wide, now what do you do with the left side of Mona Lisa’s face? Not to mention images used online are low resolution and you need high resolution to print a nice design.
Unfortunately, none of the programs we use has a turn-this-design-into-a-PDF-that-will-print-on-an-8.5”-x-11”-piece-of-paper button.
Can you design a single website that looks great on a huge monitor and a smartphone? YES! Can you have a beautiful design and use it in your brochure, on your website, in an email, on a business card, in a full-page ad, and in a 2” x 2” ad? YES! But, each reiteration needs its own time and design work to adapt it to the different uses.
Fonts: There are a dozen fonts you can use online, but thousands you can use in print.
Resolution: For print pieces you want at least 200-300dpi, but for online you want it to load quickly, so 72dpi is the standard there. If a design is for online, we may have only produced or purchased an image that works online (72dpi) and is not adaptable. You can take larger images and make them smaller, but not vice versa.
Before We Start
With a little preplanning, we can anticipate all your needs. Before we start a project we need to know an answer to the following question, “What are all the final uses?”
Tell us what you need and we can plan backwards from there so you have everything you need now—and later. If you don’t know yet, tell us that too. If you change your mind later, that’s OK too, just keep in mind that a turnaround for a new version of a design is not done with the push of a button.