ABCs of File Preparation: Part 02
File Size Matters—Big Time
DPI, MB, OMG! This third helping of alphabet soup is all about file size, and this batch has two basic ingredients: dimensions and density.
Boiling this one down (the last food pun, we swear!) will ensure that your brand visuals print great, load fast, and look sharp—and save you time and money down the road.
Width and Height refer to image dimensions, or how big an image is horizontally and vertically. This doesn’t usually cause hangups, but if you have trouble remembering which comes first, my high school math teacher (Thanks, Mr. Doerr!) always said to think of a plane taking off—horizontally down the runway first, then up vertically into the air!
Dots (or pixels) Per Inch refers to image density, a.k.a. the level of detail. The general rule to remember is 72 dpi for web, 300 dpi for print. For print, density matters big time. Lower resolutions will come out looking blurry and even pixelated, so it’s important to design at 300 dpi for print.
When it comes to digital marketing for your business, you want files that load quickly, because the longer a person has to wait, the more likely they are to navigate away from your site. Patience is at an all-time low, so the smaller you can make your web files, the better. Never upload high-res files to the web. Try to stick to a K-weight of 500 K(B) or less. You can make your files lose weight by reducing the pixel dimensions.
Just like everything in the real world is made up of molecules that are made up of atoms that are made up of quarks, everything on your computer or the web is made up of megabytes that are made up of kilobytes that are made up of bytes. 1000 bytes is equal to one kilobyte, or 1 KB. Hello, metric system! Many common files like word docs or pictures are in the KB range. These files are somewhat small and load quickly on the internet.
One megabyte (MB) is equal to 1000 kilobytes. Files get into the MB range pretty quickly when high resolution imagery is involved. These files are ideal for printing but can take slightly longer to load depending on your internet connection. If your file is too many megabytes it may also be impossible to send via email and you will need to utilize a file sharing site.
Un-Fun Facts: Site speed matters. A one-second delay in site load time reduces customer satisfaction by 16%. Plus, clicks and email signup rates go up by 0.5% for every second faster a page loads.
Furthermore (this might be our favorite word, btw), a 1 MB email emits 20g of CO2. So reduce your K-weight to save the earth and boost ROI!
Nervous about site speed?
One to two seconds is a good load time and the faster the better. Speed test your site now.
Drop us a line if it’s not up to snuff.
Source: LoadStorm, Econsultancy, TheOnlineAdvertisingGuide.com