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    CHESWICK, PA 15024

  • September 20, 2012

    Asking for Digital Images

    From time to time I get requests from art shows asking how they should word the image requirements on their application, or sometimes I contact art shows that are asking for images in a way that will confuse artists and maybe cause them to spend money unnessarilly to have their images formatted to meet the requirements.

    The latest art shows I’ve helped out are Belleville Art on the Square, which is using Entrythingy and Krasl using ZAPP. I wrote the following image specifications for Belleville. Simple and to the point, it allows artists to upload their ZAPP images, something most every artist has on their computer. Any art show is free to use the following wording. Scroll down to the specifications I wrote for Krasl.

    Image requirements for Belleville
    JPEG images must be formatted to the following specifications:
    Save your JPEG at a minimum of 1920 pixels long dimension. A 1920 X 1920 square pixel format with a black borders is acceptable. JPEG file size should be approximately 2 megabytes. For the most accurate representation, and if your image editing program supports it, convert to the sRGB color space.

    Progressive JPEGs
    Any reference to a progressive JPEG is irrelevant because it’s a throwback to when ZAPP was using the Roku media player to send images to the digital projectors. In testing the Roku, I discovered that progressive JPEGs were not able to be viewed on the Roku so ZAPP added it to their image requirements. Years later that wording is still around because it’s been copied from the ZAPP web site, though they stopped using the Roku about five years ago.

    Asking for CMYK doesn’t make sense for two reasons. The first and most important reason is that CMYK files can’t be viewed in an RGB color environment, like in a browser, because the image looks completely different. CMYK is only meant for offset printing. To be viewed accurately it would have to be viewed as a soft proof in a full ($650) version of Photoshop. The second reason is that full version of Photoshop is required to convert a file to CMYK.

    It’s up to the graphic designer or printer to do the conversion, but we’ve all seen that graphic designers and printers can be even lazier than artists. If your graphic designer or printer insists on receiving CMYK files, have them write a script (called a droplet) in Photoshop that will convert thousands of image files to CMYK in minutes. If they don’t understand what I’m referring to have them give me a call.

    Image requirements for Krasl
    Applicants must apply online through ZAPPlication. Since Krasl is one of the shows using ZAPPlication projection equipment, any images not already 1920 pixels square (with black borders masking rectangular images), will be formatted by ZAPP to meet those specifications. Therefore it’s in your best interest to prepare your images to meet those requirements prior to uploading them to¬† your ZAPP profile.

    Asking for 300DPI or any resolution is irrelevant. Read the article I’ve written on why 300DPI is not an image size.

    © Larry Berman