As interplanetary probe New Horizons makes its closest approach to Pluto this week, we are gearing up for our best ever view of the dwarf planet. And as printers, here at Henry Wurst, Inc., we appreciate the need to get closer to our subjects to get a good view.

New_Horizons_1tumblr_inline_nbou58vCQg1sglrr4Pluto_and_its_satellites_(2005)Resolution Makes the Difference

It is all about resolution, and we resolve to have enough pixels to print a clear image. For those of you married to digital graphic design where your creations never leave the screen, you just don’t have the appreciation for having tons and tons of pixels. You are content with 72 dpi. But for the print savvy among you, you know, don’t you? Graphic design for print requires pixels. Got an 11mb image? Great. We’re going for 300 dpi and sometimes 600 dpi. Bring it on. Then you’ve got plenty of room to crop and to print a large image with nice high resolution on a big page.

plutoino1 Never Start Small

Let those demands for digital design use what’s leftover from the glamour of print. All those same images and designs will nicely downsample, and look beautiful on a typical computer screen, even at 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. But you can’t go the other direction. You can’t hope to make a tiny image do the work of trying to impress your audience on a big canvas. It just doesn’t work.

NASA-releases-color-image-of-PlutoGo Big or Go Home

Starting big gives you room to create. If you start small, there’s no place to go. There isn’t enough data in the image to start with, and the best upsampling algorithms can’t create beauty. Beauty starts with large files and billions of pixels.

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Pluto, as seen from the Hubble Telescope

Smile, Pluto

So fly on, New Horizons. Get close to your subject. Penetrate the vastness of space and bring us an image we can print on paper. Show us the beauty of Pluto with as many pixels as you can give us.

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