In previous chapters you explored how to work with images to restore them to their original state or enhance them. In this chapter, you’ll start designing images rather than restoring them. You will learn some awesome new concepts that most Photoshop designers work with on a weekly basis. Plus, you will start learning some amazing new tricks that you can apply to creative images while experimenting with the Photoshop design tools.
You’re about to design a flyer for a concert at a comic convention featuring the band Gasoline Heart. The demographic is older teenagers to twentysomethings at a convention after-party to be held at a local venue. The flyer should let people know the event offers discounted prices at the door and a free drink with admission, but should also promote the concert for people not attending the convention.
So far, you’ve been designing digital images for the screen. Whether it’s a computer screen or a TV screen doesn’t matter much as the color space and units of measure are the same. When designing for paper, things are different, as you’ll discover in this chapter.
Designing for Print
By default, screens are black and paper is white. This fundamental difference is the reason you need to use different ways of blending colors for print.
Paper is also measured in inches rather than pixels. Therefore, you measure the finished project in inches and determine the image quality in pixels (or dots) per inch. This pixel density (how many pixels per inch) of an image is called its resolution, and it is critical that you set it properly when working for print.
To make things simpler and more consistent, industry standards exist for print output. Unless told otherwise, you can assume that images created for print will need to be in the CMYK color space with a resolution of 240 to 300 dots per inch, or dpi. On screen you can think of it as pixels per inch (ppi). Even when a document is measured in centimeters, the resolution is defined in terms of ppi. This is a critical setting when initially setting up your document, because images don’t scale-up well. If an image starts with a screen resolution of 72ppi, the image will have less than 25% of the resolution necessary for it to print accurately. And just scaling up to the higher ppi will result in a fuzzy, poor-quality image when printed.
For example, in Figure 4.1 the left image began as 300dpi and looks good. The other began as 72dpi and at actual size it’s hard to see detail. When you take the 72dpi image and force it to be larger the results are not good, as shown at the right. The skin is splotchy and all the time and energy to perfect the skin is lost.
Figure 4.1 These images are shown as they would appear at actual size on your screen.