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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.
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...
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.