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I use Gimp to make PNG cover banners for social media sites. I have a hard time getting a clear finish, my end product appears slightly cloudy.

promo flyer

I do my best to make small logos or letters in HD so when they're reduced they don't lose quality. Here are attachments to show what i mean with "cloudiness":

promo flyer

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    The quality of both images isn't that bad. I am not sure what you mean by "cloudiness". Are you referring to compression artifacts? Either way, whatever social media service you use your images will most likely be compressed in some way. It is best to see if you can find upload guidelines for the service you're using. – AndrewH Nov 1 '16 at 22:52
  • Thank you Drew, I'm evolving and appreciate your help. Wait til I start shooting – user49192 Nov 2 '16 at 0:59
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I do my best to make small logos or letters in HD so when they're reduced they don't lose quality.

Scaling down adds some blurriness (not as much as scaling up of course). After scaling down to the final size(*) it is often useful to add back some slight sharpening (Filters>Enhance>Unsharp mask).

Scaling down can also introduce moirés and jagged edges due to spatial frequency folding. This can be prevented by blurring the image before scaling down (in other words, to cut off the high frequencies). The usual ratio is to use a blur of X pixels if you downscale by X (ie, 2px if your final image is 50% of the original).

(*) hoping the host won't mercilessly rescale or recompress your image... re-download the image from it and compare to the one you uploaded...

  • Thank you that makes a lot of sense. I knew i was in the right place – user49192 Nov 2 '16 at 0:58
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Your image is a bit fuzzy indeed, and the other looks sharper. These differences are very clear:

  • you are using a photo with a lot of detail in a small size. The other photo has a clear blue sky and the crop is much closer, everything is larger in the background.
  • you're using small, thin letters, compared to the other image which has thick, larger letters. That will be specially noticeable when there is a texture in the text itself, or the text has some transparency. Look how clear the word "REAL" is compared to the rest of your text; it has a solid color, which makes the text easier to read and makes it appear sharper.

These are things you have to consider when designing for small formats, because on top of that your images might still get artifacts from file compression.

  • Nice. Gotta play with different dynamics right? What pleases the eye – user49192 Nov 2 '16 at 12:02

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