Consider the following before you create your image:
PPI and resolution
Web images are generally 72 PPI. Smaller images load faster on a website, and take up less space on the website server. So as long as no pixelation occurs, the smaller the file size, the better. To test how your image looks, upload it and test it on a desktop computer as well as a small device. Things look differently on different devices. Keep in mind that everyone uses a different device with different settings. All you can really control is the clarity of your image.
To test how your image will look when printed, zoom in to 300%. If things still look clear and sharp, your printed image will be OK. Another thing to consider, are you printing at RGB or CMYK? You can't just convert from one to the other without some colour changes occurring.
It‘s best to use .tiff files for printing purposes, as they are uncompressed, unlike .jpg, .gif, and .pdf files. That is, some digital info is lost if an image is compressed. Depending on the amount of compression, you may not see the difference in a small print, but you will see the difference in a large print size.
Web – saved at low resolution:
Print – created or scanned at high resolution:
This article also appeared in The Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Fall 2015 edition of the Bulletin.
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