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Using Poster Creation Software: InDesign: Before we start

The technical stuff

Raster vs. Vector

A raster image is like a grid. Each square has a color value.
It is difficult to enlarge raster images, as they may take on a pixelated appearance.

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examples: .jpgs, photos, Photoshop

A vector image is stored as a set of points and the paths between them (think connect the dots).
You can scale it up infinitely and it will still look smooth.

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examples: fonts, Illustrator, Autocad, most logos

Image size DPI/resolution

Because of the limitations of raster images, the resolution is very important.

Resolution/DPI refers to the pixels/dots per inch of a raster file.

A good print resolution is minimum 96 dpi (conserves file size for a large poster) to 300 dpi (best for smaller prints and originals).

Why does all this matter?

All of these have to do with size. When are printing in a large format, it is important to know how big you can make something without it starting to look bad. SIZE MATTERS.


Why use InDesign for posters?

The 3 major Adobe products have different strengths.

Photoshop is best for raster editing: editing photos, retouching them, etc.

Illustrator is best for drawing and vector editing.

InDesign is best for creating print layouts, working with text, and making your finished (printed) product. It has the most options for working with text.

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Heidi Lowe

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