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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

icon graphic to business card graphic
help needed!

 12:47 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have an icon that is 32 pixels square and looks great on the screen. I want the same graphic as a logo on a business card. My mockup card looks great both on the screen and printed at home, but when I gave the printer my graphic, they said they couldn't use it because it is too small.

I'm using PhotoImpact. For my business card, I created a new image at 72dpi that is 3.5 inches by 2 inches. That translates to 252x144 pixels. Then I copied my logo graphic which is 32x32 pixels and pasted it as an object in my card image. When I print my card, the logo is 10 mm square (or 7/16 inch square) on the 3.5 x 2 inch card. That looks just right. When I print the logo by itself, it's 32 pixels square (just barely a dot).

What do I need to do to make the logo the right size? How do I get it from 32 pixels to 7/16 inch? How do I avoid pixelation of diagonal lines when I make it bigger? It's a solid color with a transparent background.




 12:57 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Unless there's a whizz-bang-swiss-army-knife graphics utility I'm unaware of, you should probaby re-create the image from scratch at 300ppi, in a larger size than you think you'll ever need. Then save this new file, and guard it with your life, and you'll be able to generate copies of your logo at any resolution or dimensions the-same-as-or-smaller-than the 300ppi original, and they'll all look great.

Nothing's going to look good printed from a 72ppi file. unless of course the icon is supposed to have a jaggedy-pixilated look to it...


 1:22 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi tilt!

Going back to my printing days, we used to output film(which was needed to burn a printing plate) at 1240 dpi. If there is a lot of detail in the logo and it needs to print in process (four color) anything less than that will look "muddy".

Here is a good page that highlights the issue.



 1:30 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Good point... for extremely fine printing, 1240 is the way to go. (Though I doubt a 32px X 32px 72ppi original has a lot of fine detail... ;) )


 6:57 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried re-creating the graphic at a higher resolution. I'm not completely happy with it. The diagonal lines look a little wanky. At certain resolutions they look smooth, but when I shrink it down, the diagonals don't look good.

I'm going to try and draw it by hand and scan it in tomorrow. I don't think PhotoImpact is the right tool for precision line drawing. I wish it had snap to grid.

You're probably laughing because my original was 32pixels square. Not exactly precision. But as an icon, it looked great!
<added afterthought:>
If I add some color to the diagonal lines by filling in some pixels with a shade close to the main color, that will make the diagonals look better. What will the printer do with that?


 7:50 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

hi, just thought I might offer a suggestion for you. Jasc offers WebDraw which is a SVG editor creator etc, that's currently in beta/pr status. So first off it is free. Second, it is pretty good for basics of drawing etc with some degree of accuracy since it imitates vector style drawing programs like Freehand and AI. The problem is that SVG isn't universal format. Can get around that problem since WebDraw exports to raster formats like jpg. This release offers the ability to import external images. It might require it in bmp format though.


A bit more involved would be the suggestion to check out GhostScript which reads PS (postscript) and PDF and a slew of other formats and in general does a good job with the area you're into right now. GhostScript would take the jpg from above and allow you to export it as PS or PDF!! Is a few steps involved but maybe it is of some assistance.


 9:29 am on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Macromedia Freehand is the right tool for this kind of thing, admittedly a little pricey for one business card. Draw, scan, and let the printer deal with it sounds like a good plan - avoid the pesky details!


 10:32 pm on Dec 12, 2001 (gmt 0)


I have been rendering graphics for many years.

If you Email me the icon, I will look at it & see what I can do. And I will do this just because I love this stuff! (What software do you usually use for making graphics?).



(edited by: mivox at 6:34 pm (gmt) on Dec. 13, 2001)


 6:32 pm on Dec 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the offer. I've already re-rendered it in a higher resolution. The original graphic was an icon that I made using IconForge. It was 32 pixels square. I used PhotoImpact to change it to 1240 ppi. The icon is one color and mostly straight lines, so increasing the resolution didn't distort it too much. The diagonal lines of course looked bad, but I just filled in the "steps" (again in PhotoImpact) and it ended up looking OK.


 6:45 pm on Dec 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

Glad to hear you got it to work, tilt!

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 1:47 pm on Dec 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Tilt, if this is a logo for an ongoing business, it might be helpful to create a series of images in different sizes. I find it pretty useful to create a logo in a drawing program (a vector program, not a bit map) and then create a document with multiple sizes of the logo. I output some good laser copies and keep them in a file. When someone needs a quick logo, I can either e-mail them an electronic version or, for low tech printers, give them a camera-ready paper copy with different logo sizes.

Doing the different sizes can be a good exercise. Often, logos need some tweaking if you get much bigger or smaller than your original version. In particular, small versions often have to be adjusted because the spaces between characters or graphic elements gets too small and would fill in with ink during printing. Sometimes in small versions bolder fonts have to be lightened up a bit to prevent letters like "e" and "a" from filling in during printing.

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