The Difference Between Print And Digital Art

The key to creating strong, effective and visually appealing art lies in understanding the differences and subtleties of the medium you are using. Today, most designers work with both, print and digital media, but very few realize that they each require a very different approach.

Today we will be looking at the key differences between print and digital art, and how understanding these can make your designs come to life – both on screen and on paper!

The experience

The biggest difference between print and digital art is in the experience you can provide. Print media involves designing for an in-person, tactical experience that people can see up-close.

This allows the artist or designer a lot of freedom when it comes to creating the specific hand-held product. They can choose between glossy, matte, or textured surfaces, as well as printing finishes such as embosses or engravings.

Print designs also allow the designer to work with a wide range of unconventional materials, including fabric, leather and metal.

On the other hand, digital art and design is all about virtual and interactive experiences. The digital designer has a virtual and digital canvas to work with, and must design keeping this in mind.

Digital art is rarely static, in fact, it needs to shift and change with every click or move of the cursor. This is where the opportunity lies for the artist or designer – making the experience as immersive and seamless as possible.

Most digital designers also use a variety of multimedia tools that print design simply cannot support. These include sounds, animations and videos – again, adding to the interactive and immersive experience.


Another big difference between digital and print is the amount of space artists and designers have to work with. Print designs tend to involve clearly defined, and finite spaces, whereas digital designs can have nearly unlimited canvas – this creates a world of difference.

When working in print, designers and artists have to work on pages cut to final, specific sizes. This means they must include and place everything within that defined space – there isn’t anywhere else to place it.

Comparatively, digital designs appear across a variety of devices and platforms, such as mobiles, computers and television and must be adaptable enough to fit and work in all sizes.


Not only do print and digital designs involve the use of completely different color calibrations (CMYK and RGB colors), the end result is also entirely different.

No amount of ultra-high resolution devices can mimic the deep hues achievable by CMYK prints, however when it comes to certain colors the result in print is duller than expected.

The same way, gradients, transparencies and visual textures can look incredibly appealing when done in RGB for a digital platform, however converting them to print can result in a banded and blocky print.

At the end of the day

While these are not the only differences between print and digital art, they are certainly the most important ones. Knowing which medium to choose is the first step towards creating awesome designs.

Still confused? Do not worry! At Sunan Designs, our team of design experts is always ready and willing to help you out. Reach out today and get in touch with a professional. After that, just sit back and relax while we make amazing designs come to life – just for you!

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