Basics of Pixel Graphics You Need to Know

The Virtues of a Pixel Graphic

From the era of print, to the digital age, the methods of bringing images to life on different media has seen an evolution full of exciting technical advancements. These advancements in image reproduction and presentation has been the major reason for pixel graphic designing to become a source of ever improving visual experience. We are so aware of many technical terms like resolution and megapixels. But a truly curious person will have to dive deeper to understand the basic building blocks of images in the electronic world.

That’s where we meet the tiny units of image creation, known as “pixels”. The fundamental element that we learn about in graphic design institutes, graphic pixels have great significance in deciding the nature of the image produced, the media it is made for and the device used to create the picture. 

graphic design

Pixel is a simple measure of image construction. It is a small dot that has particular information of a part of the image like color and picture content. It has its own size which is relative to the area it is residing in and the number of pixels that fills the total image area, called Resolution.

Now, the description of resolution can be simplified to the number of pixels that occupy a defined image space. It is represented in the unit “PPI” (Pixels Per Inch). You will learn standard screen resolutions in graphic design courses, where different media like TV, computers and mobile phones support different measures of resolution. As the resolution increases, image clarity increases. 

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At this point, it will be worthwhile to consider how a pixel graphics properties, count and size makes a difference in the total quality of the image created. If we are aiming at creating higher quality images, there are certain parameters related to pixel graphics that will need to be considered. What we are going to look at will refresh the knowledge of a student at an institute of graphic designing and educate a novice at a practically fundamental level.

Quality by Pixel Graphic Count

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The number of pixels in a given area, measured generally as PPI (Pixels Per Inch), can determine the quality of image by the amount of image details that are presented. It can also determine the file size of a digital version of the image. More pixels will store more details of the image like color and hence will deliver what we experience as a higher quality picture. 

The video standard resolutions of 720p, 1080p and 4K are progressive measures of screen resolution that deliver better clarity with each scale in that order. These indicate different density of pixels in a standard screen area.  

  • 720p is 1280×720 pixels per inch 
  • 1080p is 1920×1080 pixels per inch 
  • 4K is 3840×2160 pixels per inch 

Quality by Color Depth

pixel count quality

Color depth is visually the quality of the colors that are seen on the screen. Every pixel carries certain color information, which means more number of pixels can carry more color information of the image. From the lowest 1 bit to 32 bits of pixel depth available for an image, the range of color definition in images varies and gives different impressions of quality. 

Pixel depth is the number of colors a pixel can produce. A 1 bit pixel depth can produce black and white colors. With a 16 bit pixel depth each pixel can produce up to 65,536 colors.

A 24 bit pixel depth can produce 256 shades of Red, Green and Blue channels. That means in 24 bit images, each pixel can produce up to 16,777,216 colors. With a 32 bit pixel depth each pixel can produce up to 16,777,215 colors. This increases to 4,294,967,296 colors with alpha channel included, which can help create good quality shadows, gradients and transparency.

Quality by Pixel Graphic Density

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Pixel density is the measure of pixels that is defined by the number of pixels in a screen area with relation to the screen’s total size. This translates into the density of the pixels on the screen. With more pixel density, greater picture clarity can be achieved. The sharp clarity of modern smartphone screens and VR gadgets is achieved by providing greater pixel density. An example is 5-inch mobile screens with 1080p resolution. Thus, the variance in the rate at which the different qualities of pixels are set deliver different qualities in the image rendered. 

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