I see no reason why they should not be merged or at least marked as synonyms of each other. (I'm asking here because I don't have enough rep on either tag)
Ok, so after some more thought I've slightly changed my mind on how I think we should handle this. My suggestion...
We should have two separate tags:
This would then be used, much as it is now, for questions about composition and layout in the context of desktop publishing and the design of "pages" (which doesn't actually have to be a physical "page" at all... a web page for example completely fits here).
And then anything about "layout" in the more general sense should be tagged...
Composition relates more broadly to the placement and arrangement of elements. So questions about cropping images, the placing of elements within an image, the arrangement of elements in an animation or illustration, etc. are more appropriate here.
The layout tag should then be merged in to and made a synonym of composition. The rationale being that 'layout' is much broader in general language and when not being used as a contraction of 'page layout' is more synonymous with 'composition'.
'Composition' is a broader term that is still perfectly appropriate for questions about page layout, so there's no harm in questions about page layout being tagged 'composition'... whereas if we made 'layout' a synonym of 'page-layout' (or the other way around), we would end up with questions about, e.g. arranging elements in an illustration, tagged 'page-layout'.
The tag wikis for both tags would need be updated to reflect and explain this distinction.
It's worth noting that there are also compositions in After Effects, which composition is currently used for on a few questions... I'm not sure if there needs to be another tag for that or if can just be removed from those questions?
I'm somewhat torn between this merger. I do think each are similar but they're also different in their rightful manner for example:
Layout may refer to Page layout, the arrangement of visual elements on a page
From reviewing the tags:
From a granular perspective I get why both tags would be valid as mentioned in CAI's comment of:
"page-layout" implies it excludes anything that isn't explicitly a page
However, I do not think it's an issue to remove page-layout for layout. From a site searching perspective print designers might search for
page-layout compared to
layout so maybe further discussion about this should be done in chat.
We create a new tag, desktop-publishing and turn it into a synonym and merger for page-layout. All of the questions under page-layout, would fit under desktop-publishing with far less confusion.
We then merge all of the questions tagged layout into composition. Almost none of the questions currently tagged Layout are restricted to strictly layout. They almost all include other elements such as color, size, etc. I found only one question that is solely related to layout.
Thus we are left with two tags:
Questions such as website layout would easily fall under Composition which also solves the issue and debate some members had over whether a website should still be considered the same way a "Page" should be.
I'm just going to mention there is also composition
I guess I'm old school but I would never refer to any of this stuff as "layout."
- Composition on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_(visual_arts)
- Page-Layout on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_layout
There is no relevant "Layout" on wikipedia because it's not really an industry term in English. It's a condensed form of Page Layout.
Design Comp / Comp is much more common across the print and digital spectrum. I don't work on web design but aren't those even called Layer Comps?
My suggestion is to definitely get rid of Layout. Then I'd go as far as saying merge Page-Layout into Composition which also solves the concerns some of you have with people thinking the word Page must mean its only for print.
So we are left with one Tag, composition
I think all the answers given here are valid and have their own merit. Cai, Ryan and Darth have clearly thought long and hard on this and have proposed solutions that are all good. After a good chat session I have come to my own conclusion, which I will add here for completeness sake*.
"page-layout" is too reminiscent of print only. A video can conceivably have a layout, yet it is very definitely not a page. Therefore, "page-layout" is a subset of "layout".
"layout" is a subset of "composition", according to this answer, with which I agree.
This means that every question about page-layout or layout is also a question about composition. So we only really need the one tag: composition
*While I come to the same conclusion as Ryan, my way of getting there is different. I'm not as language centered, maybe because I'm not a native speaker.