When Apple first released their Retina display in 2012, a lot of people saw it as just another passing craze – like zoot suits or Dane Cook – but higher resolutions are never out of style, and Retina is here to stay.
What is Retina?
Simply put, Retina displays work by doubling the number of pixels displayed on your screen. Through this “double density,” viewers are no longer able to distinguish individual pixels at normal viewing distances, resulting in much higher resolution. This can make “super-sharp” look even sharper, or it can make “good-enough” look like a bad mosaic – it’s all up to you as the designer.
Why it matters
With great tech, comes great expectations, and we need to take this to heart. Why? Because Apple and Android are increasingly outfitting their mobile devices with Retina technology, and the masses have accepted it as the new standard of visual excellence. Working with anything less than 300ppi not only fails to take full advantage of the technology available, but it can seriously damage your Wacom street cred.
So I guess what we’re trying to say is that if you don’t design for Retina, you’ll end up looking “Retinasty.” The straight-up truth is tech, like Retina, allows us to showcase our goods in a way that will do them justice. So it’s just as important to stay on top of technological advances, as it is design trends.
For those of you that just want the post-it note version, however, here’s the memo:
Your old 200ppi designs simply won’t do anymore.