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Article: How to Ensure Your Graphic Artworks Are Not Pixelated

How to Ensure Your Graphic Artworks Are Not Pixelated

Creating a graphic artwork is not merely putting some designs.
You have to consider the pixel calculation to prevent the pixelated outcome. Let's find out how!
Created by Miguel Bardales |

Creating a graphic artwork is not merely plopping down some image, making some edit, and rendering it. One needs to consider the end of the result, which includes the condition called pixelated. It is a condition that many people, even professionals, tend to face due to the miss calculation in their design project. 

The pixelated image makes a design look cheap, bad, unprofessional, and eventually harder to read or look at. There are times that the pixelated artworks come with a very blurry or unclear picture, which later affects the whole graphic project itself. For business brands and logos, the problem can result in unprofessional artwork. 

With that being said, designers need to consider everything possible about the occurrence. It gets more serious if you are working with another company or firm. So, to make sure you are ready to tackle the common pixelated problem. Here are some of the ideas to ensure you avoid pixelated graphic artwork for your design project.  


About Pixelated Image  

If you are not part of the graphic artwork and design realm, you might never hear about the term. At some point, many people call the pixelated term blurred or cracked [picture. It is not a wrong explanation since the pixelated design itself looks crap and hard to look at. The picture shows every single pixel that makes it appear blocky and blurry. 

So, in other words, the artwork or the design mistakes portray a product that has every individual pixel visible for the people to see. The pixels or the block make the whole design look unprofessional and eventually plummet the legibility aspect. The best determiner of the pixelated artwork is the appearance of the staircase effect. 

The effect is one way to ensure whether your graphic artwork is pixelated or not. It refers to how the straight line on the picture design digital screen appears made out of squares. The lining-up squares make the line appear like a stair. It will eventually not look like a straight line anymore, which is why pixelated artwork is considered harder to understand. 

Another point that you need to ensure and understand is bad or low-quality images. Many times, pixelated artwork is considered a bad choice for a design project. However, there are also times that pixelated effects are used to hide a portion of graphics. You can take an example from television programs that add a pixelated portion to hide some object. 

Also called a censor, the pixelated graphic can hide a lot of aspects. It can cover or disguise a person's face, identity, label, nudity, profanity, or obscene gesture. However, when it comes to graphic artwork design, pixelated is unforgivable. In other words, you need to ensure to avoid the pixelated picture in many digital design projects. 

Created by Samantha Mash |


Why Does It Happen?

To be honest, the answer is pretty simple. Either the artwork is too small and forced to resize to a bigger resolution, created with low screen resolution, or there is a poor connection. In this case, you can ensure that the resolution of the graphic itself is the key to the quality. If you are miss adjusting the image resolution, then you got pixelated graphic artwork. 

According to that reason, you can underline and ensure that the pixelated graphic design only happens when it uses pixels. So, what kind of artwork may get affected by it? The answer is the raster or the bitmap artwork. The digital illustration format is made up of pixels, which means they depend on the pixel setting for its appearance. 

However, there is also another graphic type that does not depend on pixels. It is called a vector. The vector illustration is mostly based on the mathematical formulas that define shapes. There are rectangles, circles, curves, lines, polygons, and many more. With that nature, the vector artwork will not suffer any problem with resizing and resolution.  

1. Raster Or Bitmap Image

As said in the previous detail, that raster or bitmap focuses on creating artwork using pixels. The pixels themselves are tiny squares of color that combine to make an entire design. You can zoom in on the artwork and find some little squares. The more and smaller pixels are, the clearer the graphic is. But when the artwork has big squares, it will appear pixelated. 

Where did you find the bitmap or raster image? Most of the web designs or images use raster. So most of the graphic artworks from the web, such as images, photographs are raster. Since the artwork is a pixel or resolution-heavy design, you need to ensure the resolution to avoid any chance of pixelated results. 

In this case, you can underline that the images will always have a certain resolution that is measured by the number of pixels per inch. Also called PPI, you need to ensure using the bigger PPI to get clearer artwork. Most of the time, the high-resolution graphics will be saved in 300ppi. This kind of save file is mostly used for print graphic design. 

However, for the web graphic design, you can ensure the resolution is around 72 PPI. It is a low-resolution image, which has a smaller size and ensures a faster loading process. Another thing that makes 72 PPI appropriate is that it still looks clear on-screen, despite the small resolution. However, if you use it for print, the design will look pixelated.

Based on the information, you can tell that graphic artwork with raster or bitmap files holds more clarity. It is also pretty common and preferred for photography because of the ability to capture every single detail in small pixels. But again, one needs to adjust the resolution to ensure the result will not look pixelated. 

Another point that you need to ensure is the picture design size. An artwork with high resolution is bound to have a bigger size file, such as high rendered picture, photography, or video. The smaller or less the pixel is, the lighter the size is. That is why many web pages use small-resolution graphic artwork to ensure they can provide a faster uploading stage on the web. 

However, as stellar it is in creating a clear graphic. One of the problems that you need to consider and ensure is the image size and resolution. Once saved in a resolution, you cannot edit the design to add more pixels. In other words, once it looks pixelated, you won't be able to do much about it. That is why you need to ensure many things before saving them. 

If you enlarge a bitmap or raster image, it means you only stretch out the squares. Thus, make every pixel look more visible. It will eventually lead to pixelated effects. It also means that you should not or cannot enlarge the graphic artwork and avoid pixelated results. So. You need to ensure the pixel and its resolution before you enlarge or stretch out the image design project.   

Created by MUTI |


2. Vector Image 

How about vectors? If you want to ensure your graphic artwork will not be pixelated, you need to consider creating vector design. So, the vector image is built or made with different materials. In this case, it does not use pixels but a complex algorithm, so it ensures the quality. That is why vector graphic artworks are resizable, have clean lines, and have a smooth look. 

In many cases, you can call that the vector does not use pixels but shapes. The lack of pixels helps you ensure that every design will not appear pixelated no matter what you do. You can make the image bigger, smaller or edit it easily. The idea is that the image file will ensure that resizing antics will not affect the artwork's resolution or quality. 

Where did you find such an image design? In this case, vectors mostly come in the SVG file extension. The vector graphic artwork formatting is used as illustration or logo design. It means you can enlarge and resize the picture without being pixelated. If you try to zoom in, you will not find any pixels and ensure it will not lose details. 

Inherently, you can tell that a vector is more versatile or malleable than a bitmap image. It is also easier to use since it is mostly structured with flat and uniform colors. If you use vectors, you can ensure that the graphic design project will never get pixelated. It is even better to use it in different media, such as the web or print. 

Vector graphics can ensure the display follows the resolution capability of whatever output device is. Other than SVG, you can also find vector graphic artwork formats, including PDF, EPS, or AI. That is why one of the ways to ensure the non-pixelated graphic design is by using vector artwork rather than creating a raster. 

Created by Gamal Assy |


Avoid Pixelated Image 

So, how did you ensure your design will not look pixelated? Considering the sense of bitmap or raster and the vector graphic, you can say that one needs to avoid resizing without considering the resolution. Pixelated only happen if you use pixel-centered graphic artwork. Thus, it is also safe to say that the solution to ensure the best result is using vectors. 

1. Keep Or Make The Highest Resolution artwork

You know that the pixel in raster or bitmap is the main culprit of pixelated graphics. However, at the same time, you need to use the graphic format to highlight details, colors, and a small part of the artwork. The best example is photography, which always comes in the form of bitmap or raster image. To ensure the design will not be pixelated, you need to check the resolution. 

As said before, the format is resolution-heavy. You need to ensure you capture an image or design a graphic artwork with a higher as possible resolution. 300dpi is mostly okay. However, pinpoint that the higher resolution, the bigger the file is. As an example, you can see the 300dpi A3 poster with a lot of design elements. The file size can reach 1 Gb. 

However, it helps you to ensure the result will not get pixelated. It is because every detail is captured in every single square. At the original size, you will not see a single square or pixel in it. It means you can save it down and ensure it will not be pixelated even if you need to resize it. Again, resizing the graphic artwork smaller will not make a lot of difference.   

However, it is a different story if you want to enlarge the image into bigger artwork. If you want to adjust the size, do it using image editing software. You can use Photoshop that resamples every pixel in the design. It also optimizes the image, so it fits with the new size. At least it can help you to ensure the size, resolution, and look. 

But again, photoshop will only help optimize the pixels with the new size. It will not allow you to add pixels and make it look better on a bigger scale. In other words, even the crazy photoshop cannot fight pixelated effects. You need to ensure the resolution of the original file and use the help of photoshop to adjust the file size. That is it, nothing more.  

Created by Paiheme Studio |


2. Use Vector Image Format

If you want to ensure that the graphic artwork will not get pixelated, the answer is creating vectors. Rather than using TIFF, GIF, BMP, PCX, or JPEG files (raster), you need to focus on the vector image. As said before, vector design did not rely on pixels. It means you will ensure the graphic design will not get pixelated no matter what. 

However, vector images will not fit with artwork that demands very detailed aspects such as photography or complex color gradation. It is the best way to ensure scalability and non-pixelated artwork, but you are pretty much restricted to how the vector design works. At some point, you will need to do rasterization for display. 

In other words, a vector image offers a highly compressed file that is in contrast with the pixel graphic. It has a smaller file size, is scalable, and is adjustable. You will not lose any image quality using vectors. That is why you can ensure your client that the image will stay the same in any given resolution, design, uses, or details. 

There are also a lot of programs that allow you to create vector graphic artwork. Another plus point is that you can convert or save the vector design to a raster format. It is the perfect way to ensure that your design project will never get blurry. At the same time, you can save more time to make both vector graphics at first and save them into raster if needed.    

Created by Koma Zhang |


3. The Size And Resolution Consideration 

Size and resolution is the integral point in your design. If you want to ensure everything goes in the right way, and you can avoid the pixelated tragedy, then check the size and resolution. Graphic artwork in the bitmap or raster format will always certainly size. In other words, it will have a definite resolution. Resizing it can end up with a pixelated design. 

Resizing them correctly is the key. Take a look at the dimension of the graphic artwork design project. Make sure you make or use the correct size upon opening a newly created file in the software. So, you can ensure and resize it easily (bigger or smaller). It also works with the vector graphic file, which is easier to resize than raster. 

In the vector graphic, you have to consider the size. You can easily resize the picture due to its nature that will not get pixelated. If you have the correct dimension from the first time, it will help you save time. So, try to make 300ppi for your print graphics design project. And if you work for web images, you can save vector or raster artwork at 72ppi. 

Created by Rafael Nobre Studio |


4. Creating Vector Image 

Already have an idea how to ensure the graphic design will never get blurry? If you choose to create a vector, at least there are some parts to do. The first thing that you need to consider is the program. To ensure you got the best graphic artwork, you can use the currently popular Adobe Illustrator. But you can also use Inkscape or CorelDraw as the alternative. 

The good thing about the vector image programs is the ability to rasterize the artwork. In modern programs, you can change the format and make it fit the design project. Doing so with the vector graphic will ensure a greater resolution and chance to avoid pixelated effects. You also got a lot of functions and features that are as good as bitmap design. 

Created by Brian Miller |


Final Words

The result for the design project is bound to portray the worker's professionalism. In this case, pixelated graphic artwork is one of the many sins you can make during the project. While it is something common, it also shows the lack of professionalism. To avoid the condition, you need to ensure using high-resolution artwork or create vector design.   

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