Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Intelligent Design with MF Shannon: Low-Res vs. High Res

Intelligent Design, a reoccurring series on the MF blog published by graphic designer Shannon Knepper, tackles a different design issue with each installment. This first post in the series examines the difference between high-resolution and low-resolution images. In addition to handling the lion's share of the graphic design for the museum, Shannon also runs her own design company, War Admiral Press.


Ever printed something directly from a website and it came out looking like this?

This is a low-resolution image. We could get into pixels and dots, but I’m assuming you didn’t come here to die of boredom. Basically, the majority of images on the web are low-resolution; tiny files make for faster loading. Faster loading makes for less monitor punching. And so, because designers are generally against punching of all kinds, we make images with lower resolution. They look great on screen, but terrible on paper.

You wanna print something? That's where hi-res (or high resolution) images come into the picture. These images have more information crammed into the file, so that when you print it out on paper, it comes out as crisp and clean as a pair of freshly-ironed undergutchies. Naturally, these files are bigger. And not web friendly. And oftentimes NOT email friendly. Try sending a few 20 megabyte files to your friends and see how popular you become!

So, the next time you print something out and it's all fuzzy, it's probably a low-resolution image; if there's a bigger file available, then go big! Or go home. Unless you are home. And then…uh…you should probably go out and do something. Seriously.

Read All Posts by Shannon


LES said...

what a great addition to the MF blog!

Anonymous said...

Nice template! It's a nice blog.... web development

Thomas Malcolm Cook said...

Nice piece of info. For your next trick, I'd like to hear how to turn my beautiful Illustrator file into something that will work on the web...Oh wait I may have figured it out...Nope I was wrong, the question stands.

Thanks from Portland, OR
Thomas Malcolm Cook