DIGITAL GRAPHICS AND ANALOGUE GRAPHICS: WHAT ARE THEY  ALL ABOUT?

When we talk about graphic jobs, we should know the medium through which our products will be released because a different medium necessarily involves different processing.

Printing graphics have strict rules to abide to. If you are working on this type of products, you must take the following into account:

  • ARTWORK SIZE

Printing does not forgive artwork mistakes! Never magnify images beyond their maximum size (for example, a 10×10 cm image cannot be magnified further or it would become grainy). Therefore, artwork should be selected very carefully. Just imagine to create a huge advertising billboard, the images should be sized accordingly.

  • MARGINS

The margins are wrongly referred to as the page limits. When you define a job, it is also essential to set and consider the bleeds, which means the few millimetres that extend beyond the page boundary (i.e. beyond the margins). Bleeds are the result of machine trimming inaccuracy; therefore, it is opportune to keep them into consideration. If there are graphic elements on the margins, take care to fill well the bleeds so that to conceal trimming errors, if any.

  • QUADRICHROMY
    (FOUR-COLOUR MODE)

Cyan, magenta, yellow and key (the key-colour, almost black). We learnt it as children that these are the primary colours and, when mixed, they give life to all colours. Printing functions exactly the same with real colours; the file should be set in the four-colour mode. This allows saving all colour information for printing (for example, the percentages of yellow or magenta to obtain a warmer or colder shade of red). 

ATTENTION! The colours you see in your pc screen while working, are brighter than the same colours of the finished and printed product! How so? This happens because computers operate in the three-colour mode: red, green, blue, and white are the digital primary colours …. We’ll talk about them further on.

GRAPHICS FOR THE WEB OR DIGITAL MEDIA NOT ONLY REQUIRE DIFFERENT PROCESSING METHODS, BUT ALSO A DIFFERENT WAY OF THINKING!

First of all, the digital units of measure and intangibility of the work. It can sound trivial, but you do not easily get used to use pixels for graphics that must suit 27” monitors and mobile screens as well.

This sentence already contains some peculiarities, specifically:

  • DIMENSIONS AND PROPORTIONS

You normally use pixels and percentages (for proportioning purposes). Sometimes these jobs prove easier because they are not subject to printing constraints. However, exactly for this reason, web graphics must be designed to be appropriate to various devices and have the same impact in a monitor or in a smartphone screen. You have to run many data positioning trials before everything perfectly suits the different formats.

Also, in comparison with printing jobs, you have to closely monitor the weight of the files to be published because they must be as lightweight as possible to circulate in the net. For example, an internet site with very heavy artwork will take an annoyingly long download time. As an unwanted result, nobody will see the graphics you created because the site is too heavy and does not download them.

Less heavy art files, same image quality! You have to identify your main publishing medium (as for printing, as we said before) to select the correct type of artwork, decide which size to use and how much to decrease the file weight while keeping quality unchanged with no unwelcome pixelated images.

  • TRICHROMY (THREE-COLOUR MODE)

As already mentioned, red, green, blue, and white are the digital primary colours. They function by addition (they add their brightness) and for this reason they look brighter when viewed in a screen. This colour mode allows obtaining more lightweight files because no machine would code the colour percentages to be mixed, except the display device. There is a colour code derived from the amounts of R (red), G (green), and B (blue) that will be displayed in all devices.

Colour code
Digital colour
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