Size Matters

One of my first questions for a new project is, “What size does it need to be?” Design has to be functional on all levels: for the client, for the audience, for the vendors. With so many aspects to consider, details can be overlooked, affecting the quality of the finished project.

Account for Error 
Print designs that do not account for margin of error are difficult in production, and are more likely to need reprinting. Printing equipment is not 100% precise. Depending on the technique and the machinery, some variances still exist.

For example, when the art extends to the edges of a page, printers want bleed to accommodate their trimming margin of error. To include bleed, the artwork extends beyond the trim marks by about 1/8 inch. Without it, some trimmed pages would end up with blank, white lines along the edges.

Avoid Stretching
When enlarging an image (scaling), the height-width ratio should remain consistent. In most layout programs, holding down the Shift key while enlarging the image will lock the ratio and prevent unintended stretching.

Web designs often require specific pixel dimensions for accurate sizing. If these dimensions are not met precisely, the art could stretch to fit the space, compromising the quality of the image.
Design is about using creative energy with practical purpose. To work effectively, attention to detail must be valued. When dimensions are inaccurate, it costs everyone time and money. In every field of design—print, web, motion, environmental—size matters.

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