We Can See Your Bloody Pixels

This is really a pan-European problem, but Germany is one of the worst offenders. Worst offenders in what, you ask?

In using crude blowups of digital photos in expensive printed flyers, that’s what. Look at the example here, taken at random from a printed flyer advertising a Malian cultural festival*:


Check out the guy on the left. His dreadlocks look like misshapen, slime-encrusted tentacles, and he appears to be playing some kind of exotic Malian music instrument formed by a bunch of tiny blocks of wood. This brochure, like so many others I’ve seen featuring crudely-zoomed digital photos, was printed out on paper, no doubt at some expense, and distributed to thousands of strangers.

Let me make something perfectly clear. If the only picture you can find of your subject is a tiny digital thumbnail, you do not blow that thumbnail up to whatever size is required for your printing format, thereby turning the subject of the photo into Mario from fucking Donkey Kong. That is so 1997. So Albanian internet cafe. So high-school play poster.

Instead, you contact the photo’s subject and ask for a better photo. Or you take one yourself. Or you redesign your flyer.

Got it? Good. End of lecture.

* To keep things in perspective, let me add that as between living in a country in which there are cultural norms in favor of pretty brochures and living in one in which Malian cultural festivals happen just around the corner from where I live, I will choose the latter. But why can’t I live in a country that has both?

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