Digital Design: What Is It?

July 12, 2017

Eric Small

LLT lives in an industry that is constantly being redefined by the constant and ever-accelerating progression of technology. It seems that every year the number of ways digital displays are being integrated into our everyday lives is multiplying. Less than a century ago it was almost unheard of for a household to have any sort of screen or device with a digital display. At present, it is difficult to get through a day without seeing some sort of screen trying to communicate one thought or another. The technology has evolved in different ways, growing large and moving outdoors to digital billboards and stadium scoreboards, while others have worked to put the power of a computer in our pockets, or even on our wrists. As innovation in this area continues to grow, so does the need for companies who can design and communicate with these new and emerging forms of media.

These considerations have given us pause in labeling our design services. Designing the packaging for a new beverage, designing a website, and designing a digital billboard are three very different tasks that require three very different approaches. Our solution for describing what we do as designers has thus been broken up into three main categories; Print Design, Web Design, and Digital Design. All three of these categories utilize aspects of graphic design and branding, but go a little farther and clarify the intended use of the design.

For what we do here at LLT Group, we define these categories of use as follows:

Print Design

Our Print Design services include all communication items that are created through a printing process.

Examples of Print Design include: Business Cards, Packaging Design, Static Billboards, Letterheads, Posters, Postcards, Apparel Design, etc.

Web Design

We define our Web Design service as any design work produced for the intent to be displayed on a screen that is intended to first go through a custom development process by a developer before it can be viewed by the intended audience.

Examples of Web Design include: Websites, Portals, Dashboards, Landing Pages, Microsites, etc.

Digital Design

For our purposes, we consider our Digital Design service as any design work that is intended to be viewed by an audience on a screen, but does not require custom development prior to viewing.

Examples of Digital Design include: Web Ads, Pitch Decks, Multimedia Presentations, Digital Billboards/Signage, Social Media, etc.

These differences squarely place the service of Digital Design as a bridge between the functions of Print Design and Web Design. While Web Design and Print Design are both important parts of a brand experience, we felt that a differentiation needed to be made between these services and the growing area of Digital Design.

One of the main functions of Digital Design projects is to support Web Design. Many Digital Design projects are intended to be viewed on a personal device, which typically allow for linking and can direct the user to a web address when clicked. This includes web advertising, promotional emails, and social media content/ads. These types of projects require an internet connection to be effective.

Another primary function of Digital Design is to replace Print Design in areas that technology has made print solutions obsolete. This includes things like digital billboards, automated email designs, and digital presentation materials. As more and more business is conducted with less and less paper, the need for Digital Design will increase to help aid the transition. Many of the same skills are required to accomplish the new Digital Designs as were necessary for the printed versions of these items. As these digital counterparts begin to improve, their capabilities will expand. This will cause the required skillset to change, but also offers an exciting opportunity to explore the future possibilities for design in the digital realm.

The nature of technology is to advance and change to find the best solution to a problem. This makes Digital Design a moving target. As the canvases for design are constantly changing, LLT is researching, experimenting, and learning as much as possible to keep innovating for our clients and stay on the cutting edge of design trends, no matter where those designs may end up being used.

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