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August 7, 2014

What is a Pixel?

Author: Kristen Bachmeier

What is a pixel? How were they created? To what extent do we use them in our everyday lives? How would things be without them? These are just a fraction of some of questions I asked myself when thinking upon this subject.

Pixel DefinitionPixels are fascinating. Tiny bits of information coming together to create one object as a whole. Without them, how would I do my work? One could even go far enough to say that there might not even be an internet if pixels weren’t created. And even if the internet was created without pixels, what information would we have to share? The internet would be a terribly boring place without a screen to carry information to the user. Imagery, streaming videos, text, fonts, etc. most things that a person uses a computer for today would never exist without the creation of the pixel. What use would the internet even hold?

How many pixels do you think is right in front of you as you are reading this? Well, it is actually quite simple to figure out. I am running a computer screen with a resolution of  1920×1080. Sooo just multiply 1920 by 1080 and I have 2,073,600 pixels. That’s 2,073,600 pixels that can move at your command, your total control, your keyboard, your mouse. As a designer, I always wondered how the hell does this actually work? Or how did somebody come up with such a simple yet crazy idea? I came across an enlightening video that goes a little deeper in explaining the creation of the pixel and the man who created the pixel, Claude Shannon. Its unbelievable how something so small can change everything as we see it today.


The Man Who Turned Paper Into Pixels from Delve on Vimeo.

Kristen Bachmeier

Kristen Bachmeier is Atilus' Director of Operations and helps to oversee all client accounts and day-to-day operations. Kristen also has a background in digital marketing, and has been working in the digital marketing space since 2012.

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