Tips on Using Digital Photography

Photography needs to be meaningful and assist the reader in better understanding your message. Colors in the photos should complement the FAU color palette and should include blue and/or red when possible.

Photographs that represent the University's diverse student body are preferred. Use full-color, high-resolution images (see below); black and white photos are also acceptable if it complements the overall design and message. Avoid images that feature logos and brand names other than Florida Atlantic University. To avoid copyright infringement, obtain rights to use the image from its source. Images from the Internet are generally unacceptable due to copyright laws and print quality. If using an original photograph of a student, child or visitor to campus, be certain a Photo Release form is completed and filed with Marketing and Creative Services.

With the advances in digital imaging technology it is possible to get high-quality images with a digital camera. However, there are a few things to consider. Three basic factors determine if an image is suitable for high-quality (offset or commercial) printing: resolution, compression and file format.

  • The resolution of an image is very important and determines the overall quality of digital photos. Resolution is expressed in megapixels or pixels in height and width. Refer to the digital camera user’s manual to find the maximum size and resolution of images it can produce. Generally, images used for high-quality reproduction/print should be 266-300 pixels per inch at the final size it will be used.
    A note on resolution: If your image is 3” x 5” at 300 pixels per inch – or "dots per inch" (dpi) as it is referred to in print – and you need to enlarge the image to 6” x 10” for printing in a brochure, the image when enlarged to 6” x 10” will now be approximately 150 dpi – not suitable for quality printing. Simply changing the resolution of the file in Photoshop or some other image management program to 300 dpi will not improve the true resolution of your image. This practice is referred to as interpolation or resampling and is generally not acceptable and will result in a final image of poor quality.

  • Compression also affects image quality and can destroy image data. Compressed images are generally not suitable for print. You should use a camera that supports uncompressed image data. TIFF or RAW settings are appropriate; JPEG is not. If you must use a JPEG, use the lowest possible compression setting which is the highest quality value allowed by the save dialog box. Please see example below.

  • When saving a file for print, use the JPEG file format as a last resort. Each time a JPEG file is re-saved, transferred or copied it loses quality and creates JPEG artifacts visible in the printed image.

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 Last Modified 11/8/16