High Res. vs Low Res.

leafletJust finished a mock-up today for one of my clients, I previously built a website for them and they needed a leaflet as well. These days whenever I’m asked to design a website I’ll try to make sure that the files I’ll use for building the website are in high resolution or that my ‘sketch’ is. It occurred to me lately that most clients ask me to design something for print (in high resolution) after I’ve finished their website in low resolution which caused the chicken and egg situation… ;)

A friend of mine was in a similar position and actually asked me last week how to change a low resolution file for web-use into a high resolution file. He wondered about how I normally work, I told him that I prepare a design in high resolution if possible so I won’t have to start all over again if the client decides to use the design for print. In his case the client gave him a low resolution picture for use on their website. So he based his design on one element in that picture which he also had manipulated in Photoshop.

Later, that same element needed to be used for quite a big poster and that was the catch: his sketch and his final artwork for the website was all low resolution and couldn’t be used. I suggested to rebuild everything in Illustrator then import as a high resolution file into Photoshop, retouch, use creative manipulation techniques and special effects on the artwork to get the same worn result as in the original picture. It’s a lot of work but at least he’d have a good high resolution file to start designing and working with.

Last week my client asked me to design a leaflet similar to the website. I took some elements that I’d used for the website and rebuild a few others. I don’t think you could completely avoid having to rebuild certain elements ever. There will always be things that will need changing design-wise but it’s so much easier adjusting things working with the original high resolution files. It really saved me time and a few awkward moments, after all: you don’t really want to reinvent the wheel, do you?