I am making a companion banner ad for Youtube. The dimensions are 300x60. When I design on a 300x60 art board and save a a PNG or jpeg it saves with larger dimensions and then won't upload. If i want it to be able to upload the quality is too low and it is blurry.

I need the dimensions to be 300x60, and if I resize it in another program it lowers the quality and makes it blurry.

Please help me make a crisp 300x60 image that exports less than 150 KB and is 300x60 in dimension.

enter image description here

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Thank you!

  • Your image is not blurry its just displayed way larger than you designed it – joojaa Apr 24 '19 at 15:33

Hit Ctrl+Alt+P and make sure your document 'Units' setting is set to 'Pixels'. You may have accidentally started this document in 'Millimeters', in which case yes, this can be a reason for the problem.

If you are indeed working in 'Pixels', double check your artboard size is actually 300 by 60 pixels via Shift+O.

If everything checks out, then to properly save a PNG go to 'File → Save for Web', then make sure the 'Percent' value is '100%'.

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    I checked and it is 300x60 and the percent value is 100 and I did save for web and still blurry. – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 14:11
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    Maybe just edit your question and add this blurry image? – Lucian Apr 23 '19 at 14:12
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    Thanks, photo up. It looks OK when small but any bigger and it's distorted. – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 14:14
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    It actually looks ok, not much you can improve there. At 300x60 pixels this is kind of what you get. Try saving a PNG, not a JPG. If you do JPG, make sure the quality is not too low, as this can affect the sharpness in JPGs. Do it at 100% quality. All these options are in the Save for Web window. – Lucian Apr 23 '19 at 14:17
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    Still blurry. Photos added to question to show what I'm trying to avoid. Thanks for the help! – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 14:20

This isn't directly an answer, but looking at the screenshots, it seems to my untrained eye like this might have a lot more to do with the screen scaling on the computer any problem with the size itself - take a look at your screen DPI settings. It it's not set to any multiple of 100% (i.e. 100%/200% etc) then you will see a lot of fixed size images appear to be blurry. 150% is quite a common setting, and it will cause your 300x60 pixel banner to be scaled by the OS to an effective 450x90 size, which will make it appear blurry. If you are seeing the same blurriness on files you haven't created, then it's worth checking.

Apologies if this isn't the case, but it's something that has bitten me before. This link has instructions on checking/changing the DPI setting: https://www.eizoglobal.com/support/compatibility/dpi_scaling_settings_mac_os_x/index.html

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  • Just was about to add this answer, because you're absolutely correct and I am virtually sure this is indeed the problem. – David Mulder Apr 24 '19 at 8:58
  • Unfortunately this wasn't the fix. Thanks for the help though! – Lauren Apr 24 '19 at 14:50

It is not clear what you are doing that makes the final dimension too large. But guess is that you are not using Save For Web. Do not just Save as PNG. Use the Save for Web (may be under File > Export > Save for Web in newer AI) when needing a JPG, PNG, or GIF.

Under the Save for Web tool, you can control the precise final size in pixels even if the AI Artboard is not accurate.

enter image description here

BONUS – Photoshop has the same feature.


I am not giving up on you, @Lauren ;)

I took your banner and Save for Web (as 300x60). As you can see, it is just 26.7K (not too large). And at 100% size – it is as sharp as can be using that font.

enter image description here

Would you consider this "blurry"? Your Save for Web still produces a large file? Have you ever been able to save a 300x60 pixel banner that you would consider sharp? If so, can you share it with us?

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    I saved for web and still very blurry. Any other suggestions? – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 14:11
  • There is no denying that a 300pixel x 60pixel banner may have some blurriness (there just aren't that many pixels to make it sharp). Especially when you zoom in. But how does it look at 100% size? Adequate, right? If you want super sharp text (and photo), create the banner in Photoshop. The Character palette in Photoshop allows you to render the text as either: Sharp, Crisp, Strong, or Smooth. Unfortunately, there is no way in AI to turn off anti-aliasing for your text. Do you have Photoshop, too? – jhurley Apr 23 '19 at 14:50
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    Thanks. Photoshop didn't help. I tried all of the anti-alias options (photo added to question). Should I create the banner bigger and save as a smaller scale? – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 15:02
  • I really appreciate your determination, @jhurley! I'm not sure what you mean. The screen shot photos I uploaded are what I am trying to avoid. On Youtube I see other companion banner ads that are blurry so I see that it's been a challenge for others as well. But I have also seen that some are very crisp and clear. Can I link the AI file I have to see what can be done? – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 16:36
  • I added new photos to the question to go with this. Thank you! – Lauren Apr 23 '19 at 16:39

I've never used Illustrator, so I can't explain how to do this in that software. However, there are a few things to consider with this kind of issue:

  • If some objects don't have integer pixel values for their positions or sizes, they can look blurry. I usually go through each object individually and manually set the values so that everything looks right, since automatic tools to fix this problem often mess things up and / or only change the position. However, Adobe Illustrator 2017+ claims to have a new tool for this, which might be better than the tools that usually exist in vector graphics packages.
  • Check if font hinting (tweaking the pixels in the font to make it look sharper at this size; I think this is done by the font designers, though I'm not certain) is enabled. If not, that might help the issue.
  • Check your anti-aliasing settings. How you do this in Illustrator seems to vary, but this forum post suggests that "text optimised", "crisp" or "sharp" might be best – these are probably not all in the same menu, though. Try each and see which is better.
  • For the image, try to scale it down from the very most original image to the resolution used in the advert using an external program – Photoshop or GIMP – with the settings that make 100% give the best-looking output. Then replace the image in the advert with that one, and make sure that that isn't being scaled further by Illustrator.
    • Actually, do this with your background image too… although having that slightly blurry might not be the worst thing, considering it's a background element.
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  • I tried these fixes and no luck. Thanks though! – Lauren Apr 24 '19 at 15:19
  • @Lauren Is the text actually text, or is it an image you imported from somewhere? Additionally, is it crisp in 100% view in the editor? Because, if the worst comes to the worst, you could just make a screenshot, blat that into GIMP, zoom in ridiculously so you can get the cropping just right and then export it as a PNG. – wizzwizz4 Apr 24 '19 at 16:51
  • It is actual text. I just created a 300x60 art board, added the background color, typed the text and made it a good size. I've tried taking screen shots from AI and from finder. And the dimensions come out too big, when I try to resize then it gets blurry again. – Lauren Apr 24 '19 at 17:16
  • @Lauren Even when you resize it by exactly 50%, using the transform tool? – wizzwizz4 Apr 24 '19 at 17:28
  • I wish! If I resize by 50% the dimensions are still too big. I uploaded a photo above with a yellow square showing the dimensions. – Lauren Apr 24 '19 at 20:42

Try changing the Quality setting in the preset (its set to 60% in your attached image).
Anything below 70% is usually seen as a low quality image.

You can see some examples of the quality setting here

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  • I tried all the different quality settings and no luck. Thanks though! – Lauren Apr 24 '19 at 15:02

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