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Scanning at the Architecture Library

What is DPI?

DPI means dots per inch, and is used to measure image resolution.

Higher DPI=More Detail and More Clarity for Images AND Higher DPI = Larger File Sizes

What DPI do I need?

  • 300 dpi = Standard for Printed Images
    • 300 dpi is a good default for most uses
  • 600 dpi = High-Resolution for Printed Images
    • 600 dpi is best when you are going to be manipulating the image in Photoshop or other uses. You can always save as a lower resolution later.
  • 1200 dpi = Archival Quality
    • 1200 dpi is when you need extreme detail or want to save your final work in the highest quality available. File sizes are huge for 1200 dpi so use sparingly.

What are good file types of images?

The most stable filetypes for images are JPEG and TIFF:

JPEG = more commonly used, compresses for smaller files sizes, but you can loose image quality. Good default choice.

TIFF = lossless image format, high quality and very compatible. Used by professional photographers and graphic designers.

How should I name my files?

Figure out a system that makes sense to you and includes the information that will make it easier to search and find your files. Consider including information (potentially abbreviated forms) like:

  • Date or year
  • Project name
  • Medium/format
  • Progress point: i.e. before review, final

What types of information should I record about my work?

Think about what will be important to know about your works years in the future. Some things to consider:

  • Project Title
  • Creation Date
  • Co-Creators (if applicable)
  • Medium/materials/software used
  • Created for: course name, client, personal, etc.
  • Prompt for project
  • Inspirations
  • Presentation script/accompanying text
  • Shared via: Exhibition, Publications, Portfolio, Social media
  • Publicity, Marketing, Articles
  • Copyright status: work for hire

How should I record that information?

You can use something as simple as a spreadsheet or as complicated as a database or software option. Popular options include:

  • Google Sheets
  • Abode Bridge
  • Tropy

Where should I store my files?

All types of digital storage have their pros and cons. Cloud-based is most easily accessed but can be pricey the more storage you require. Physical storage drives can be in the long term more cost-effective but require space and protection.

Should I have a back-up copy of my files?

Archival practice recommends having three copies of digital files for preservation. Having at least two copies is best, as files can be corrupted or decay. It is recommended that you routinely open your digital files and make sure they are working correctly. Replacing them with the back-up copy as necessary.