Tag Archives: retina displays
Over the course of my design career, I’ve watched with interest as the resolution and quality of screens-based devices has improved. It hasn’t happened at the pace of Moore’s Law, but things have certainly been getting better all the time.
Over the past five years, the quality of such devices has improved to the point where the current iPhone 4S and latest iPad sport what is known as a retina screen – a screen resolution so high that the human eye cannot distinguish between pixels. Screens are now effectively better at showing images and text than paper is.
For interface designers, this has been a wonderful boon. No longer are we constrained to 72 pixel per inch resolutions with their jagged text and roughly-stepped gradients.
Well, as long as we’re designing for devices that retail for almost $1000, that is.
Screens are however finding their way to places and uses we would never have thought possible a few years ago, and some of these devices are designed to be low enough in cost as to be distributed tremendously widely.
You want a website with beautiful, expressive and flexible typography. It’s 2012. What do you use? Adobe’s Typekit – sure, but not if you want Helvetica Neue. You’d go to Monotype’s Fonts.com for that. But you would sooner die than use Helvetica! So how about something by Christian Schwartz or Kris Sowersby? Or perhaps one of the great families from the H&FJ stable? There you might be out of luck.
The release of the new iPad makes high-resolution alternatives for images on retina displays more important.
As early adopting web-workers, our challenge is to remember more is a relative term. Addressing the classic challenges still affects more users than hi-resolution images. Typography; quality, site specific, imagery; and mobile sites are of greater importance that our fancy new toys.