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Jargon isn’t out to get you!

It can be super daunting when you hear words like “dpi” and “bleed” when talking graphics.

“Why am I bleeding?”
“What data protection GDPR-DPI thing have I got to do now?”

Sound familiar? (Well, ish.)

Fear not! Here’s a simple explanation for the most common words used in graphics:

Pixels – Imagine your computer screen is like a giant mosaic made up of tiny squares. Each of those squares is called a pixel and it’s the basic building block of all digital images. The more pixels you have, the sharper and clearer the image will be.

EXAMPLE: “How many pixels is the image?”

Bleed – This might sound scary, but in graphic design, bleed refers to anything that goes beyond the edge of the final printed or displayed area. It’s like giving your image a little breathing room to ensure important parts don’t get accidentally chopped off during printing.

EXAMPLE: “What’s the bleed on this? 3mm?”

DPI (Dots Per Inch) – This refers to the number of tiny dots (pixels) printed in a linear inch of an image. The higher the DPI, the sharper and more detailed the printed image will be. Think of it like a diamond – the more facets it has, the more it sparkles! High DPI is important for professional printing, while lower DPI might be okay for something you’re just viewing on screen.

EXAMPLE: “Can you make sure the image is at least 300dpi?”

Resolution – This term refers to the total number of pixels in a digital image, typically expressed as width x height (e.g., 1920×1080). The higher the resolution, the more detail the image can hold and the larger it can be printed without appearing pixelated.

EXAMPLE: “I could do with a hi-res (resolution) image if you have one”

Pixelated – This describes an image that appears blurry or blocky because it doesn’t have enough pixels to display the image smoothly. It’s like looking at a close-up of a pointillist painting – from afar, it looks great, but up close, you see the individual dots.  A low-resolution image will look pixelated when enlarged.

EXAMPLE: “This image is pixelated (low-res), have you got a higher-res image?”

I hope this helped. Jargon is annoying in some ways, but definitely useful in others.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends!  It may help them out too.

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