Web vs Print or DPI

OK, this is another one of “Why in my day”, so be prepared. This is just a general rant, and not aimed at anyone in particular.

When I started, back when the earth was still cooling off, and we all hunted and gathered, there was only one way to get your ideas out, and that was to put them in print. I learned early on that the best way to get something printed with a printer was to talk to them, find out what they wanted and give it to them.

My first error, and one that I have seen many people make since, so I am not alone, was to not realize that what I saw on the screen in photos, was not what I got in print. 72dpi, doesn’t print well when it is stretched out too large. In fact, it can look pretty bad. I remember spending a long long time on a image for an ad, and sending it out to be printed on a Fiery, and having it come back as this little smashed ugly thing.

First rule of thumb is, you can always decrease the dpi, but you can never increase it. Oh I know, people are going to say of course you can, just add more dots. Sure, and get a blurry picture. Back when print was all there was, it easier to tell people to give you a high end 300 dpi, at least image. Now, I tend to get low end 150dpi images. That in itself is not too bad, but when they are also small in size, there is nothing I can do with the image, except hope for the best, and warn people when it is too small. With all the picture phones and 1 megapixal cameras out there, people will be taking small, low res images and thinking they look fine, for a long time to come.

Sometimes I feel like screaming, when I hear people have created things for the web, and want to use them in print. The rule is, create for print first, then downsize for the web.

More rants tomorrow.


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