How to Make an Image Less PixelatedWritten by Elisha Yvonne Velasco ● Published on June 16, 2022
One of the challenges that comes with printing in large formats is making sure that the graphics used are not grainy, blurry, or pixelated. Using low-quality images on banners, signs, and other printing materials doesn’t bode well for potential customers interested in learning more about your brand. Grainy and blurry text, photos, and graphics can discourage buyers and leave a bad impression.
In this article, we will give insight into how to make pictures less pixelated so you can print high-quality graphics for your signs and banners.
What Is Pixelation?
Images are composed of small squares and dots in a small area. The higher the number of these squares—the higher the resolution—the more an image becomes defined. For bitmap or raster images, each component or pixel is assigned a specific color—and every pixel makes up a whole picture—like a mosaic. Pixelation happens when a bitmap or raster image is so huge and stretched out that the pixels become distinct to the naked eye.
Does Pixelation Occur in Vector Images?
Pixelation does not happen in vector images because they are composed of lines and curves. When enlarged, no pixels can be seen. It only occurs in bitmap images, since they are composed of individual pixels assigned with a specific color per pixel.
What to Look Out for to Avoid Pixelation
Are you printing in large formats such as vinyl banners? Here are some factors to consider to prevent your designs from appearing pixelated.
ResolutionThe resolution of the source image is a crucial component in preventing pixelation. If you’re designing for print, a high-resolution image is recommended. You have more control over reducing the size of the output image. Using a low-resolution image and enlarging it makes the pixels even more visible.
Color ModeThere are two different color spaces or modes to use when creating images—CMYK and RGB. If you’re designing for print, save your images in the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key) color space, because these are the colored inks used and blended in printing presses. Printers should be able to easily identify and reproduce your design to avoid any production delays. For the web, use RGB, as computer screens are made up of red, green, and blue pixels.
Remember not to use web images for print, as these have lower quality and resolution. On the other hand, using a print image for the web is alright, since it will only result in a smaller version of the print image.
Image TypeFor larger prints such as signs and banners, use vector images instead of bitmap or raster images. The pixels in raster images are more noticeable when the output is enlarged, making the graphics look fuzzy and blurred. When you use vector images, the edges appear sharp and clean when printed and enlarged, since these are made of lines and curves and not pixels.
File TypeAs with image resolution, choosing the right file types is critical to ensuring image quality. GIF and PNG files are primarily used for simple images and graphics. If you’re printing for larger formats, save photos as JPEG files. If your design comes with many details, save it as a JPEG as well.
InterpolationIf all else fails, a quick fix to pixelation is to interpolate images using third-party image software, such as Photoshop. Interpolating is the process of enlarging an image and adding a few pixels that match the colors next to or around the existing ones. Doing this will result in a non-pixelated larger image.
Pixelation is inevitable with bitmap and raster images. Use vector images to achieve pixel-perfect designs on signs, banners, and other large prints. Make sure to follow the different tips and recommendations provided in this article—this will help save your brand’s reputation and save you money from reprinting if your design comes out blurred or fuzzy.
If you’re looking for impressive advertising and promotions and want to leave a massive impact on your customers, you can also check out 48HourPrint.com’s large format printing services for more information.
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