If this hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s only a matter of time: You propose an idea based on years of experience, but your client isn’t convinced and wants to think about it. Later, someone else makes the same argument with a pretty infographic published by an agency 1,000 miles away. Suddenly the client is on board!
If you’ve worked in an office for more than a few months, I’m sure you’ve seen people pull images from the Web and use them in presentations, emails, etc. Most people think nothing of it, assuming there are no legal issues because the images are only being used internally.
Unfortunately, internal use qualifies as commercial use in most circumstances. So copyrighted images require permission to use internally.*
I can’t count the number of times someone has said to me, “I found this photo on the Web and want to use it in my document, but I can’t get it to print clearly. How do I fix it?”
I hate that question, because no matter how much I want to help, I always have to give the same answer: “You can’t.”
Computer screens are low resolution devices. Printers are high resolution devices. If you take a file designed for a low resolution device and send it to a high resolution device, the result is going to be blurry or grainy.
To understand why, you have to understand image resolution.
If you’ve worked with Powerpoint or Word much, you’ve probably discovered that adding lots of photos can result in a huge file that’s difficult to email or post online. This usually happens when large or high-resolution photos are dropped in and then scaled down. It also happens when the Crop tool is used to crop out large areas of a photo.
You can fix this problem by compressing your images.
“The print shop is asking for an EPS version of the logo and I only have a JPG…”
“A vendor sent me this AI file and I can’t open it…”
“I need a JPG and can only find this PNG file. Will it work instead?”
Does any of that sound familiar?
There are a staggering number of file formats around these days, so I bet you occasionally come across (or are asked for) a type you’ve never heard of.
Here’s a quick introduction to some of the graphic file types you’re likely to come across: