December '20

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A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 5 0 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S U B L I M A T I O N B A S I C S A N D B E Y O N D | C H E R Y L K U C H E K THE RIGHT GRAPHICS FOR SUBLIMATION F inding the right image for your sublimation project is only part of what it takes to make it look like it is the perfect one for your substrate. What do I mean by that? If the quality of your image is not good, the result won't be either. Learning the importance of getting the right image and resolution for your sublimation project is key to producing a high-quality product. Let's do a quick overview of dye-sublimation using a raster image. Throughout, we'll look at good versus bad quality and note the dif- ferences. TERM RUNDOWN Raster image: To explain a raster image in simple terms, a raster file consists of pix- els made up of tiny squares, where each square contains information that ulti- mately forms an image. Raster images can be digital photographs, digital graphics, or scanned images. Popular raster file extensions include the following: • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) • PSD (Photoshop Document) • JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) • PNG (Portable Network Group) • BMP (Bitmap) Resolution: Resolution refers to the clarity and fineness of an image, measured by the number of pixels in an image called the PPI (pixels per inch). PPI refers to how many pixels are displayed per inch. DPI (dots per inch) refers to printed reso- lution or the number of dots per inch on a printed image. Whether scanning or downloading an image for printing with sublimation, the higher the resolution, the better the out- come, especially regarding the image's clarity and vibrancy. Printing for sublima- tion at 300 DPI is always a safe bet. Low resolution: Where a low-resolu- tion image can work for you is the web. You may want a lower resolution of 72 DPI for your website to load pictures of the substrates you sell. Why 72? It's a two-fold answer. One, screen monitors have fixed pixels. More importantly, the SEO (search engine optimization) on the web suggests the faster your images can load, the quicker you have to grab someone's attention on your website, which ultimately equates to more poten- tial sales. Vector graphic: A vector graphic is art- work made up of paths. Those paths break down into points or nodes, lines, and curves. This means that no matter how large you scale the image or how small you take it down, the lines, curves, and points recalculate and remain smooth. You can see the crispness and clarity of the details in the 300 DPI image (left) versus the 72 DPI image (right). (Image courtesy Cheryl Kuchek)

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