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Presenting your work in digital formats for screen

If you are looking for ways to present your work digitally online there are many ways in which you can achieve this. Some of these are fairly simple and require no special software, whilst others might require more skill and access to various software programmes such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro and new additions such as Adobe Spark and Adobe Portfolio. Go online and visit Adobe (make sure it is adobe.com) and download free software trials, once the trial has come to an end you will need to subscribe and make monthly payments to suit your budget.

There are also alternatives to Adobe such as Affinity Software. Affinity is a new company, once the software is purchased you do not need to pay any monthly fees.

You might prefer to also take up another way to present your work by including various animated forms and moving elements to share across media platforms. Of course, there is also a range of other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and many more which might also suit you. There is a huge choice out there and no one way is the best, you need to find the platform that suits you.

Here are a few ways to explore these options for digital outputs.

1. Following a traditional book or portfolio type theme

Start by thinking about the basics. Imagine you have a series or sequence of images that you want to organise so the viewer sees your work online, perhaps in a format similar to reading a book. One of the simplest ways to do this is to use something like Blurb. Blurb has free desktop software to help you create books, magazines, and ebooks. If you go online and search for ‘blurb book publishing’ and then download ‘Bookwright’. This is a free software application you can use to design your project. You can design your book and then save the design as a PDF to your own computer. Bookwright has free professionally-designed layouts (and the ability to easily create your own) it works on both PCs and MAC’s.
You can design your book and then save the file as a PDF to your computer. A PDF file is a Portable Document Format (PDF), it is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. It is a very crucial file type used across the design industry, it specifically is useful in order to use as a proofing system for printing of books, magazines and catalogues.
The Blurb website will take you through the whole process, follow the instructions and if you are only interested in seeing your production on screen then search blurb for the Ebook pages and learn how to create your own Ebook.

2. Book format on screen

Another great way to present your work online so that it that reads like a magazine or book is by using Issuu. Issue is an online platform which allows you to upload and publish your magazine or publication (in print layout) online. They have paid plans as well as a free version. The free version allows you to get started and use Issuu’s reader and embed your online magazine on your own website. Go online and find the Issuu online publishing platform.

3. Design options and sharing for screen only

If you have an Apple Mac computer then it’s worth exploring the Pages App, this app (for desktop or IOS devices) has a set of templates for books and other visuals such as posters and flyers. Just go to the apple website and download the Pages app. Make your design and then simply export it as pdf file (you can then upload this to Issuu). The pdf can also be linked on your website or sent to a person via email or your tutor to view.
Another great feature is to use the advanced book creation option, this has the ability to fine-tune or create a digital book in the EPUB book format. The EPUB format is an open digital book (eBook) standard from the International Digital Publishing Forum, they can be read using the Books app on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or with third-party EPUB readers. Apple provides in-depth instructions for creating a book in Pages helping you to create a digital book without having to do any special formatting, you can also use pre-designed book templates in Pages.

4. Use social media

Share and create your work via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, Youtube and Tumblr. For some, this might seem like too much choice, better to choose one or two platforms and then learn about how they work and the best ways to create content. There are many online reference guide to image sizing, if you go online and search for ‘Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes’ you will find a link to SocialSprout. SocialSprout has a very easy to use guide.

And finally here are a few tips for you to remember.

When it comes to preparing your images for screen its best to organise your images beforehand and place in a separate folder, then use these leaving the originals untouched.
Using your preferred image editing software prepare your files ready to work with as follows: keep the resolution to 72 pixels per inch, take a look at the image size and keep to the preferred size needed for the media your creating.
Make sure you read all the help files provided by all these platforms, many have very detailed and step by step guides. For inspiration take a look at these sites to help you think about design and media options. Search online for ‘Behance’. Bechance presents and discovers the latest work from top online portfolios by professionals across the creative industries.
Finally go online and search for ‘Self-Publish, Be Happy’. This organisation is dedicated to shaping contemporary photography and visual culture through publishing, online and offline events, and education programmes. It has very many examples of design layouts worth looking at.

Posted by author: Andy Hughes
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3 thoughts on “Presenting your work in digital formats for screen

  • A very useful post, primarily directed at Photography students, I am guessing, but something that all visual artists need to think about, especially approaching the third year. As a printmaker, I regularly post to Instagram which I am using as an interim portfolio, but I hadn’t considered image sizing issues.

  • Due to COVID-19 I am having to digitally format my A3 sketchbooks for assignment submission (Textiles BA). This was helpful, thank you.

  • Please can anyone confirm if the tutors are saying that presenting images in the online blog will not be enough on its on?
    Thank you

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