On my way to work yesterday, I noticed three instances where, it seemed to me, that print design is being informed by web design. Specifically, the prominent use of icons. I had my camera and took a few pictures. I’ll post more as I notice them.
Icons are used all over the place on the web. They offer visual references in navigation, content identification and add a little jazz to a page for little bandwidth cost. Sites like Icon Buffet offer people the chance to download free icons and trade with other community users.
So it makes sense, I suppose, that icons are creeping into packaging and branding. Drop shadows, curved corners and sequential numbering make me want to click on the box of this dishwasher soap:
I want to click the “links” in the “header” of the box shown below:
They work just as well in signage, and this isn’t new of course. A look tells me quickly that I can get coffee, money and snacks here.
I went to the web sites for these products and found that the branding there (which looks a little corporate and dated to my eyes) did not reflect the packaging.
I’ve also noticed web like layouts in some magazines. Paper versions of mail-order catalogs are closely coordinated with the web counterparts, and the visual similarities are easy to identify.