All the way back in high school and even at my first job out of college, we were trying to replicate print layouts on the Web. Sadly, back then, everything layout was done via tables and pre-dated cascading style sheets. It was all pretty primitive.
In high school, we were trying to replicate our school newspaper’s PageMaker layouts in the browser. My first job out of school, we were trying to replicate industry-specific trade magazines originally created and published via both Quark XPress.
While some replication of magazine and newspaper layout was possible, most of it was just out of the question. It’s definitely worth revisiting with modern browsers and the capabilities CSS and the current HTML spec offers.
The article linked below touches on some of that.
Source: CSS-Tricks – Influencing Web Layouts with Print Layouts