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Designing for Retina Displays

Retina Displays are the ability for web designs to have liquid crystal displays with a very high pixel density so users can’t see the difference between individual pixels, and the picture looks very clear and lacks any blurry characteristics. They are marketed by Apple and are used for a variety of applications, including IPhones, IPads, and MacPros. Here is some terminology in regards to retina displays, and tips on how to design for them.


1. Device Pixel: The smallest physical unit that is displayed.
2. Pixel Density: The number of pixels that are displayed in one given amount of space.
3. Resolution: The number of pixels displayed across an entire width or height of a device.

Tips for Designing Retina Displays

1. Make sure pixels are smaller. The smaller the pixels are and the closer they are together, the better. This makes the overall display a better shape, which will contribute to an overall higher quality image.

2. Use double pixels. Retina displays only work if there are double the amount of pixels that are in a standard display.

3. Use HTML and CSS code. GIF, PNG, and JPG images require code so images are displayed at half the size of what it is, which will allow its visibility to be better.

4. Vector images make the process easier. Vector images can be scaled in every which direction because they are based on lines, images, shapes and curves, and are easier for retina displays than GIF, PNG and JPG images.

5. Use a WordPress Plugin. If you are using WordPress, things just got a lot easier for you. Use WP Retina 2x, which makes web designs, look clear on retina displays such as the IPAD and MacPro. The good thing about this widget is that retina displays will be generated automatically and the designer or user can control everything else directly from the dashboard.


Designers may find challenges when designing for retina displays, but there are several tips for making it easier. The results will be happy users who will be pleased with clearer and sharper images portrayed in your web design.

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