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01/28/2005: "stupid graphics files"

Way back in December during my first career advisor session, one of her recommendations was to make business cards. It makes sense, as it's a very easy (and standardized) way to distribute contact information for yourself. Instead of asking someone to write down your contact info, handing them (or mailing them) a business card is quick and easy. (It could also win you a free lunch or two.)

Well, come January all my job leads fell through so I thought I'd best get on making business cards. I had a "eureka" moment shortly after New Year's Day, and came up with a brilliant idea for a logo. I managed to draw it up on a large scale, have created a business card layout that I like, and am ready to print... except I can't get the damned logo to scale properly.

The first few times I did it, I realized that I had saved the logo as a black-and-white (1-bit) file. That would mean that when I scale it down, there's no greyscale available to anti-alias the lines to something nice. Instead I simply got choppy, pixelated images that looked like crap. Well, I realized the error of my ways, and tried it all again, but this time saving the files in 24-bit glory, giving me access to millions of shades of grey.

Everything went quite well, and sure enough my logo scaled down pretty well. Lots of nice anti-aliasing going on, but when I print it out, it still looks like total crap. It's like the printer is able to print 300+ dpi for the text I'm doing, but when it comes to the image I'm trying to use, the best it can do is 72 dpi. I know it's not the printer's fault, but I have no idea how to get a higher-resolution image into my document.

I used Appleworks to create the image, at just over 4x the size I want it to be on the business card. I saved that as a 24-bit TIFF file (and also as an EPS file). The business cards I made in Appleworks as well with the business card assistant. Importing and scaling any of the images I've made simply gives me a logo that looks like crap, which is really frustrating because right beside my horribly mutilated logo is very fine text that has been rendered exquisitely. Anyone out there have ANY idea how I can get this to work? Do I need to vectorize my image? Use a different program altogether? Make the original image bigger, or smaller? Help!

If anyone would like to help, I can e-mail the images I've been trying to use to see if you can shed any light on what's going on.

Oh, and for the record, I still want to make business cards. Yes, I'm employed, but detailing is becoming mundane already. I still need to look for something more inline with my interests and personality, and this isn't it. It will pay the bills quite nicely, but that's about it. If I'm still here in 6 months, you will be able to colour me very surprised.

Replies: 2 Comments

on Monday, January 31st, Jerry said

What programs are you using? It sounds like you're on the Mac side, which means I can't help with details, but it sounds like you're doing the right things concerning bitmaps.

Vectorizing the image would help with the scaling, so, it would be even cleaner, but, what you're doing right now should be working.

One other thing -- check the printer settings. Some programs have "print graphics at lower resolution" or "print graphics as a draft" type crap going on, maybe that's checked by accident?

Good luck!


on Saturday, February 5th, PC Troll said

Huh... a Mac with graphics problems. I thot Macs had that problem licked!


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