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Design A to Z – Megabytes

A few weeks ago we blogged about different file formats and how to reduce the size of your files while maintaining image quality. This week we are looking at the actual units which measure file size – Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes etc.

A bit is the smallest amount of data that can be processed by a computer, it can only have a value of 0 or 1.

We rarely work with information that is so small it can be saved in bits. Bits are usually assembled in groups of 8 to form a byte. A byte is only large enough to store one letter or character. The word “curious” has 7 letters and so would take 7 bytes to store.

A kilobyte (KB) is 1,024 bytes, instead of 1,000 bytes as you would expect. This is because computers use the binary system rather than the decimal system with which most of us are more familiar.

1 Kilobyte (KB) is 1024 Bytes

1 Megabyte (MB) is 1024 Kilobytes

1 Gigabyte (GB) is 1024 Megabytes

1 Terabyte (TB) is 1024 Gigabytes

1 Petabyte (PB) is 1024 Terabytes

1 Extabyte (EB) is 1024 Petabytes

It has been said that 5 extabytes could store all the words ever spoken by human beings!

Confusingly, many hard drive manufacturers use the decimal number system to define amounts of storage space. In other words, 1 MB is defined as one million bytes, 1 GB is defined as one billion bytes, etc.

However, as your computer uses a binary system you may see a difference between your hard drive’s stated capacity and the capacity your computer recognises.

For example, a hard drive that is said to contain 10 GB of storage space can store 10,000,000,000 bytes. However, on your computer you need 10,737,418,240 bytes to reach 10GB. As a result, instead of recognising 10 GB, your computer will only show that there are 9.31 GB available. This is not due to a fault in the hard drive, it is simply the result of the two different systems of measurement.

Got questions on file size? Get in touch – we’d love to help!

Design A to Z – Logo

We’ve all heard of logos, branding and visual identity but what is the difference between the three?

Logo
A logo is a symbol or graphic mark used to identify your business or organisation.

A logo can be

1. A wordmark or lettermark – the name or initials of your company e.g. Coca-Cola or CNN
2. An symbol or icon e.g. Apple or Nike
3. A combination of a symbol with text e.g Puma or Carlsberg

It is not essential that a logo represent the product or service of its company, but it must be memorable and easy to recognise and describe.

It is also important that logos are scalable (so that they are still recognisable at small sizes) and work in black and white (so that they can be used in situations where colour printing is not available.)

Visual Identity
Your visual identity is the visual representation of your company.

Your logo works with your corporate colours, typefaces, signage, stationery, brochures, and website etc to create your visual identity.

To create a strong visual identity it is important that each of these aspects are consistent – for example if you have corporate colours they should be used throughout your visual identity, in your signage, your website, your stationery and any other printed materials you produce.

Branding
The broadest area is branding. Your brand is your company’s personality, your values and aims. A brand is more than visuals, it is everything that a company or organisation owns, does and produces. Branding can encompass everything from customer service to events, copywriting, products and posters.

Need help with your brand, visual identity or logo? Contact us today! We’d love to help.

Design A to Z – Kerning

This week’s term is a typographic one.

Its roots stem from the days when type was manually hand set in wood and metal. Like many typography terms that we use today, the original name has stuck although the process has changed entirely.

Kerning refers to the spacing between two letters or characters in a word. Designers use the method of kerning to adjust spacing between two particular characters to make the spacing even in relation to the rest of the word. Certain character combinations require kerning more often, the most common would be WA, Ya, LA, AT and the list goes on! As you can see type that is set in caps generally needs to have kerning applied to it more often.

In the examples above you can see the difference between the type before kerning is applied and afterwards – which do you prefer?