Page layout is the part of graphic design that deals in the arrangement and style treatment of elements (content) on a page. Beginning from early illuminated pages in hand-copied books of the Middle Ages and proceeding down to intricate modern magazine and catalog layouts, proper page design has long been a consideration in printed material. With print media, elements usually consist of type (text), images (pictures), and occasionally place-holder graphics for elements that are not printed with ink such as die/laser cutting, foil stamping or blind embossing.
Since the advent of personal computing, page layout skills have expanded to electronic media as well as print media. The electronic page is better known as a graphical user interface (GUI) when interactive elements are included. Page layout for interactive media overlaps with (and is often called) interface design. This usually includes interactive elements and multimedia in addition to text and still images. Interactivity takes page layout skills from planning attraction and eye flow to the next level of planning user experience in collaboration with software engineers and creative directors.
A page layout may be designed in a rough paper and pencil sketch before producing, or produced during the design process to the final form. Both design and production may be achieved using hand tools or page layout software. Producing the most popular electronic page (the web page) may require knowledge of markup languages along with WYSIWYG editors to compensate for incompatibility between platforms. Special considerations must be made for how the layout of an HTML page will change (reflow) when resized by the end-user. Cascading style sheets are often required to keep the page layout consistent between web browsers.