Stellar screenshots in print pieces
~ 04 May 2004 ~
What’s the best way to format screenshots for print materials?
Up until last week, I thought I knew the answer to that question—just knock up the dpi to 300 in Photoshop, convert to CMYK, and resize as needed.
Say it ain’t so, Joe.
It ain’t so. There’s a better way. A much better way.
Wish I’d known that before sending the 20-page product catalog shown above—chock full of screenshots—to print a few weeks ago.
*sigh… You win some. You lose some.
But before we’re all losers, check out this bit of advice from graphicPUSH: Capturing and Optimizing Screenshots for Print.
Most of the raster screenshot advice is your run-of-the-mill approach to preparing screenshots for print, apart from the clever “Nearest Neighbor” tip, which keeps screenshots razor sharp.
Scroll down a bit, however, and read “Preparing a Vector Screenshot.” Author Kevin Potts, who penned an article for A List Apart in October 2003, walks you through an incredibly slick technique for converting screenshots to vector images. No joke. After it’s all said and done, each pixel is converted to an individual vector square. Grouped as “pixel vectors,” the screenshot can be resized to any dimensions without losing hardly any of the original clarity.
I did a test run last week with an inkjet, and the crispness of the screenshot was phenomenal. I have yet to use the technique in an actual four-color print setting. But Kevin has, many times over. “It’s a technique our in-house department has been perfecting for some time,” Kevin explains in a recent email conversation. “I use vector screenshots in our four-color printed material everyday, with no trouble whatsoever.”
Where were you six weeks ago, Kevin?
Stock photography, type, and killer tees. Genuinely recommended by Authentic Boredom.
Authentic Boredom is the platitudinous web home of Cameron Moll, freelance new media designer, author, and speaker. More…
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