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I've been doing design for print format since 1985 but for the past 5 years have moved almost completely to web design. Problem is, my 72dpi designs - while great on screen - obviously don't translate well to high-resolution print products for my own (print-based) marketing purposes: start with a 72dpi design, resample up to 300dpi for offset reproduction - yuck.
I've never tried it the other way around (design at 300 dpi and use that for offset, then down sample the same .psd to slice for a client's site), but I suspect I'd lose a lot of detail on those images (background images, etc) which contain detail.
The last thing I want to do is create a signed-off design at 300dpi and then completely re-do the work at 72 (or vice versa).
What do the good people here say about such a delimma? Is there any "easy way out"?
The last thing I want to do is create a signed-off design at 300dpi and then completely re-do the work at 72 . . . Is there any "easy way out"?
Nope. 10 years in the printing industry says no. :-)
There are two ways to go here. Create your design in vectored graphics only, then export it at the resolution required. The other is create at 300 DPI then resize.
The problem with either is that your fine-line stuff and small type are going to require reconstruction when you scale down. You are going to have to learn the finer nuances of unsharp mask and how it applies differently to your 72 dpi edges than it does to your high res ones.
At least with vectored art you can take the entire piece and copy-paste it in a document at a smaller size, the old-school "logo sheet" method. Before exporting, adjust your reduced ones and make sure all your lines are at least a full pixel wide and your interstices are at least a pixel apart (lest anti-aliasing blur them into oblivion.)
As you go along you will head off problems like this when you know a design must work in multiple resolutions and formats. It's a pain at first but if you look at it as just another limitation of your "palette," it will improve your skills as a designer. By this I mean if you create a design that works well as a tiny bug as well as a billboard, you have a powerful design.
To this day, I still get horrible designs from highly paid designers who consider their work paramount and it's "my problem" if I can't make their work look good. Usually I wind up reconstructing it. :-( I suppose that's always an option, make it someone else's problem . . .