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So this feels silly but I had a team member question something and now I'm not sure.

We have an embedded display inside a device with a resolution of 800x480 @134DPI. They said they always have to design in Photoshop to get the right DPI. I want to be doing this in Illustrator or Sketch though.

If I export a 24x24px Illustrator icon at 134DPI I get a 45x45px icon, where as Photoshop gives me a 24x24px icon.

My thinking is that if I'm designing in vector, then I just design to the 800x480 resolution and not worry about the DPI. But when I export my assets can I just export @1x?

  • if you export a 24x24px at 134DPI in Illustrator you get a 24x24px. check if you're using artboards correctly, or altering the resolution on the "Export" box. – Luciano May 15 '17 at 15:02
  • File - Export As - Check 'Use Artboards' - Set resolution to 134 PPI. Result is 45x45px. To my knowledge you don't set any PPI information in Illustrator, it all happens on export (there are selectable 72,150,300DPI options but nothing custom). Unless I'm mistaken? – user2453735 May 15 '17 at 15:11
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    if you are designing for screen, ignore DPI settings. 24px is 24px regardless of the resolution. If you need a larger asset, the exported size will need more pixels, not a higher DPI. – Luciano May 15 '17 at 15:16
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If you set the illustrator file up using pixels, you'll need to export at 72 PPI to get the right pixel size image.

Illustrator assumes screens have 72 pixels per inch (that's what PPI stands for). While that probably isn't exact, if you are only using pixel dimension you don't have to care about inches.

DPI and PPI are usually used as synonyms. Though they don't matter unless you're printing and need to specify inches.

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