So why do file types matter? What is the best file type?
There are a few things to consider when capturing your physical work or saving digital files. First no. JPEGs please JPEGs are a great file format for your website creating previews of work and thumbnails, but the worst choice anyone could make for a long term archive. JPEGs degrade each time they are re-saved. This may not sound like a Hugh issue, but it is, you see you can’t make new files from a. JPEG you can’t print anything from one ether. It’s a file type made to be small and that is it, it's not for achieving. Even if you don’t care about the above when buying art its important that it is of the highest quality available no shortcuts.
So we have spoken about JPEGS and why we don’t want them
that being said JPEGS are welcome on our site but you will score the lowest
grade on our digital standard.
.tiff files are the best file type for archiving digital
images along with .bmp these files do not degrade when re saved and so can be
edited an unlimited amount of times, but also hold the best quality of any file
PNGs in terms of archiving are just after tiffs given that all editing normally remains uncompressed in the from of layers
Gifs are very useful files short moving images are a great
new way of creating digital art the draw back is GIFFs only have 250 colours
and so only work for their intended purpose small moving images.
On to RAW files, we don’t accept Raw flies mainly because
they are unedited which isn’t the point of art as you want to see a final
creation and how the artist indented it, the other issue is that RAW files are
vectors not pixels of course on a screen everything is pixels but strictly
speaking RAW files do not have a PPI value.
This is a quick sum up please read below for more
information taken from our digital standard whitepaper (which is not for public
release, “our secret sauce”);
Art has rules, styles of art can be
defined in certain ways be they subjective or objective however the subjective
valuing of art is the main way in which art is given a price. For example, a
realism oil painter would be valued at least at first on how close to reality
their work is. The problem with subjective valuing of art at least for new
artists is the amount of basis that system creates, rather than how close the
realism is to being real, factors such as nepotism, financials and whether a
rich buyer is willing to over pay for their work end up playing a much larger
role in pricing artwork than the objective quality’s. Digital art or scans of
art have unique objective quality’s which so far no one has capitalized on,
this white paper sets out a method of viewing the metrics of digital art based
on the quality of the image not the content and creating the initial price.
PPI = Pixels per inch
DPI = dots per inch (confusingly most scanners refer to PPi as dpi)
All standards have two aspects in common, file type and PPI/DPI.
Video art, art created on photoshop, digital
photography, film photography and scanned artworks are intrinsically different,
so they require different standards. These standards exist to help buyers to
decide what they would pay for an artwork.
At BAE we classify works based on standards. New
artists will have their prices decided by this standard alone, while
established artists (i.e David Bailey) will be able to dictate their pricing.
Their work will still receive a grading, but it will only be as relevant as the
buyer wants it to be.
For example, a well-known photographer may only want
to upload a 300 PPI image this would mean that their PPI grade would only be a
D but as they have a well-established pedigree they would still sell for a much
This standard will assure that all the artwork sold
through BAE is of the highest quality, priced correctly and future proof.
Who are we to decide what is good or bad art?
may ask why are we using a system based only on digital metrics? Why not build
a data base of the best art ever and an algorithm based on that to create a
value? Well as fun as that sounds, it’s totally impractical. Further that would
mean adding human biases into our system which would stifle creativity. A
computer can’t see art just like justice, its blind. Metrics can only be used
to judge the objective quality of the image based purely on cold hard math and
not on the subjective quality of the artwork itself.
Excessive PPI/DpI (it’s better to have it and
not need it, than need it and not have it)
The PPI/DPI grading on the BAE may seem very harsh and some would say unnecessarily high. This is something we disagree with as we believe it is better to have too much of something
The maximum resolution most commonly used online is 72
Dpi. Ordinary computer screens such as Macs have a 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227
pixels per inch. We aspire to give our buyers an experience beyond
having a typical image viewing on screen. The ability to zoom in to see the
tiniest of details on their digital artwork, right down to the brush strokes or
bumps on the skin in the case of photographs. The BAE will be the diamond
standard of digital art, and only the most perfect quality image will get a
full A grade.
So why allow JPEGs
While it’s true that JPEGs degrade over time, we feel
that it’s important to let artists upload smaller files and to provide options
for artists. As you upload larger files you achieve a higher standard and your
starting price goes up. However, the price of upload also increases creating a
perfect scaling system. If you want to upload an A Grade Tiff with 600 PPI,
great! But it will cost you a bit more and in return you’ll achieve a higher