Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Pixel dimension vs. resolution

From: Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

Video: Pixel dimension vs. resolution

Before we start learning how to create web graphics, it's really important to understand the difference between pixel dimensions and resolution. Many times people refer to web graphics as being 72 ppi or 72 pixels per inch. However, the reality is that's not always the case. You see many of today's monitors are a much higher resolution, like maybe about 120 or 140 pixels per inch. If you look beyond just the computer screen, handheld mobile devices like phones for example, those can have even higher resolutions.

Pixel dimension vs. resolution

Before we start learning how to create web graphics, it's really important to understand the difference between pixel dimensions and resolution. Many times people refer to web graphics as being 72 ppi or 72 pixels per inch. However, the reality is that's not always the case. You see many of today's monitors are a much higher resolution, like maybe about 120 or 140 pixels per inch. If you look beyond just the computer screen, handheld mobile devices like phones for example, those can have even higher resolutions.

In fact, the iPhone 4 has a resolution of over 300 pixels per inch. The reality is that a real web designer doesn't care about pixels per inch at all. In fact, the whole 72 ppi thing probably started, because the original Macintosh had that resolution on its monitor. But to a web designer today, what matters most is the actual pixel dimension, meaning how many pixels wide and how many pixels tall. For example, if you look at your monitor, it's probably set to a certain resolution, things like 1024 x 768 or 1440 x 900.

We don't really care about the size of the pixels as much as we do as the number of pixels. Take this example that I have right here. As you can see, I've created three rectangles in this document called Resolutions.ai. The three different rectangles represent different pixel dimensions. For standard monitor sizes we have 1024 x 768, 1440 x 900, and 1600 x 1200. Now let's say we're creating some kind of a standard ad banner. So I'll select my Rectangle tool and create a rectangle here of 468 x 60, just a standard ad banner size for the web.

Notice now if I go ahead and position this right about here on the screen, you can see how much space this ad banner takes up on a monitor set to 1024 x 768. However, that same ad banner would appear much smaller on a resolution of 1440 x 900, because look how much more space there is on my screen. In fact, on an even higher resolution, at 1600 x 1200, that ad banner appears miniscule. To get a better idea of this concept, I'm going to come over here to my Artboards panel, and I'm going to double-click where it says Monitors to switch to this artboard.

Here, I have two laptop computers. These are both the 15-inch model that Apple makes for that MacBook Pros, but the resolutions are actually set to different resolution settings on the monitors. For example, on this laptop right here, the monitor is set to 1024 x 768, whereas on this laptop here the screen is set to resolution of 1440 x 900. You can see that on the higher resolution monitor, the graphics appear smaller. But I can also see a lot more information.

I could actually see more of my page at once than I would on the lower resolution one. In other words, if I have a very high resolution, I can see more content at once, but the content is a little bit smaller, whereas in a lower resolution I can actually see larger images, but I can get less content on my screen at any one time and I need to scroll more to see it. Now as a designer, there are two main things that you're going to need to think about. If you're creating graphics to the specification that someone else has defined, for example, you're creating graphics for someone else's web site.

That can be an ad banner or some other graphics, for example. In those cases, you will be given the precise pixel dimensions that you'll need to use. However, if you're designing your own web site, it's going to be up to you to decide which dimensions you want to use. Many web designers today assume that most people have at least 1024 x 768 monitor. So they generally design web sites at a width of around 950 pixels in width. Of course, these are all decisions that you're going to have to make.

But the first thing to realize is that the whole concept of 72 pixels per inch shouldn't factor into any of your decisions at all. The only thing that matters now is going to be the actual dimensions or the number of pixels in the artwork that you're going to be creating.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design
Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

74 video lessons · 23941 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Choosing Illustrator for web and interactive design
      2m 54s
    3. Illustrator and the web design workflow
      2m 7s
    4. Using the exercise files
      22s
  2. 40m 9s
    1. Pixel dimension vs. resolution
      4m 14s
    2. Pixel Preview mode and anti-aliasing
      5m 39s
    3. Taking charge of anti-aliasing
      5m 27s
    4. Choosing the right color management settings
      7m 25s
    5. Setting up important preferences
      6m 22s
    6. Setting up a workspace optimized for web design
      11m 2s
  3. 54m 5s
    1. Using the Web document profile
      3m 39s
    2. Creating custom document profiles
      9m 38s
    3. Using Illustrator's free web templates
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a sitemap or wireframe
      2m 50s
    5. Setting up an entire web site
      9m 33s
    6. Setting up a grid
      10m 37s
    7. Setting up an online ad campaign
      8m 13s
    8. Setting up icons for iOS
      2m 24s
    9. Setting up mobile content with Adobe Device Central
      4m 38s
  4. 32m 22s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors
      11m 50s
    2. Limiting the Color Guide to web-safe colors
      4m 53s
    3. Using Recolor Art to convert art to web-safe colors
      4m 54s
    4. Getting color inspiration from Adobe Kuler
      6m 48s
    5. Using Recolor Artwork to modify colors across a site
      3m 57s
  5. 56m 54s
    1. Using the Save for Web & Devices feature
      6m 44s
    2. Understanding the GIF file format and its settings
      10m 20s
    3. Understanding the JPEG file format and its settings
      7m 39s
    4. Understanding the PNG file format and its settings
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding the WBMP file format and its settings
      1m 18s
    6. Understanding the SWF file format and its settings
      4m 13s
    7. Understanding the SVG file format and its settings
      3m 41s
    8. Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic
      4m 46s
    9. Optimizing files to a specific file size
      4m 5s
    10. Modifying Save for Web & Devices output settings
      6m 51s
    11. Previewing content in Adobe Device Central
      3m 56s
  6. 56m 6s
    1. Setting point type in Illustrator
      4m 11s
    2. Setting area type in Illustrator
      5m 20s
    3. Formatting text quickly with paragraph styles
      14m 39s
    4. Overriding formatting with character styles
      3m 2s
    5. Controlling text anti-aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      11m 14s
    7. Adding cool reflections to text and graphics
      8m 26s
    8. Applying settings quickly with Graphic Styles
      4m 24s
  7. 35m 56s
    1. Understanding the concept of slicing
      3m 22s
    2. Creating slices manually
      4m 26s
    3. Creating slices from guides
      2m 45s
    4. Creating slices from objects
      7m 33s
    5. Understanding the different slice types
      4m 20s
    6. Applying settings to slices
      9m 20s
    7. Creating hotspots with image maps
      4m 10s
  8. 23m 35s
    1. Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator
      3m 35s
    2. Animated SWF: Converting Illustrator layers to SWF frames
      4m 3s
    3. Animated SWF: Using blends to define motion
      8m 35s
    4. Animated SWF: Adding static artwork to an animation
      3m 24s
    5. Animated SWF: Controlling time within an animation
      3m 58s
  9. 17m 13s
    1. Preserving slices and structure with PSD export
      6m 10s
    2. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      4m 35s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Photoshop
      2m 52s
    4. Generating an animated GIF file with Photoshop
      3m 36s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Exporting HTML from Illustrator for use in Dreamweaver
      3m 31s
    2. Exporting CSS and DIVs from an Illustrator layout
      3m 57s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Moving art between Illustrator and Fireworks
      6m 25s
    2. Using dynamic shapes from Fireworks
      3m 48s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Fireworks
      2m 24s
  12. 16m 7s
    1. Building files for use in Flash Catalyst
      4m 28s
    2. Creating a new Flash Catalyst project from an Illustrator file
      3m 40s
    3. Copying and pasting artwork between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      2m 4s
    4. Roundtrip editing between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      3m 36s
    5. Creating Flex skins for use in Flash Builder
      2m 19s
  13. 19m 48s
    1. Understanding symbols: The lifeblood of Flash
      4m 58s
    2. Symbols: Understanding 9-slice scaling
      4m 18s
    3. Setting text that will be used in Flash Professional
      3m 5s
    4. Moving artwork between Illustrator and Flash Professional
      7m 27s
  14. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.