2 min read

Pixel Perfection

While vectors are on the way in, particularly as IE gets better at supporting SVG, there’s still a  need for good pixel related design.

There have been a number of recent tutorials about this topic, be it generally about making pixel perfect assets, ones to account for retina displays as well as usual ones, or 16px ones for the likes of favicons (the relevance of the latter gaining heated discussion on Hacker News).

Speaking of icons, while the ones made by Jackie Tran are available in scalable formats, one assumes they probably work best small. And at over 1000 icons for $5? They’re well worth it if you’re doing design work that needs icons.

Pixels that can make or break a design are images. However, if you’re looking for background images, there’s now a handy Subtlepatterns bookmarklet that will let you try out textures on a site.  On the other hand, if you need holding images for mockups, http://hhhhold.com/ will gives you appropriately sized and SFW ffffound images.

Conversely, print and print typography is all about pixels (or more correctly, points and picas). When a reviewer of the 4th Edition of The Elements of Typographic Style commented that the book was missing notes in relation to the web, the author replied by email to explain that they were aware of this and deliberately chose not to include it.

Still, when it comes to talking about pixels, you have to mention … Photoshop. Now on its 13th version (though version 8 was integrated with the Creative Suite so it is officially known as CS6), the original source code has been released for free download. As you might expect it’s a heck of a lot smaller.

Interestingly, in a recent Your Dreams My Nightmares podcast, illustrator Robert Hunt recounts how he got to experiment with the beta version thanks to a family connection with Dennis Muren of Industrial Light and Magic (listen from about 32 minutes in to hear about it). Yes, rendering a single copy would take hours.

To continue on that retro vibe, the upcoming Disney film Wreck it Ralph is based around characters in the old-skool arcade games. The New York Times reports on how Disney got in one of the former pixel designers to ensure that the characters looked right, or in his words “respected the pixel”.

And finally, speaking of the NYTimes, the animated GIF makes it to the venerably Grey Lady.