Zoda Design Blog
Image basics – Vector Graphics, Print/Web Images, and Colors
When it comes to images, one size does not fit all. There are so many different things to consider when you use images that learning everything can seem to be a daunting task. Here’s a quick and dirty primer on some image basics.
Ok, first things first – what the heck does vector mean?
Vector means scalable. A vector graphic is made up of paths that can be either straight or curved – this is typically what you want your logo designed with, just in case you want to put it on a billboard or something. These paths rely on mathematics to scale larger or smaller, which allows it to keep it’s crisp, sharp lines. Raster graphics (what you get with photographs and web images) are pixel-based. The larger you scale those, the muddier the image becomes, because each pixel is just simply growing larger.
So what’s the difference between images when it comes to print or web?
Images for print are typically 300 dpi – you need the best quality images to produce gorgeous printed items. Web images do not need to be as high-res – you can typically get away with using 72 dpi. This also helps with the file size, because the smaller the file, the faster your website loads. However, be careful to watch for any pixelation or degradation of quality if using lower-resolution files.
Printed files also use a different color scheme (CMYK), whereas web images use RGB. Printers use pigments to create the visual representation of your document or image, and these pigments are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black – CMYK. On the other hand, computer monitors and televisions display only red, green, and blue (plus the light projected through them) – RBG, and these combine in our eyes to form what you see on the screen.
This is just a very basic overview but please feel free to email if you have questions!
Owner & Web Developer
Jessica Kelley is a web developer from Flint, MI, and is also the president/owner of Zoda Design. She has a Bachelor's degree in education from Eastern Michigan University, and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University. She has been doing web design as a hobby since 1999 and finally decided to do it professionally in 2012. What to chat? Shoot her an email.