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Image Resolution

Pixel Basics

Pixels are the building blocks of an image. Every digital image, whether it is a graphic or a photograph, is made up of thousands or even millions of individual pixels. The more pixels contained within an image results in greater detail and quality.

The number of pixels makes a huge difference in quality!

PPI Comparison


Image Resolution for Your Print Job

It is important to note that a low-resolution image cannot be made into a high-resolution image. There is no way to add pixels to improve the quality of an image, so when working with images, the higher the quality the better – especially if you are in doubt.

The most important element to consider when printing your image, or images, is how large you can print an image while still maintaining quality and detail. PPI (pixels per inch) refers to the pixels contained in a digital image. DPI (dots per inch) refers to the number/density of ink dots printed by a press.

SMALL FORMAT: For small format jobs such as brochures or booklets, it is recommended that images for print be saved at 300ppi, as this will help achieve a high-quality print. To calculate the desired file size, multiply the final printed size of the image in inches x 300. For example, if an image is 4” x 6″ on the printed page, 4×300 by 6×300 = 1200 x 1800 resolution.

LARGE FORMAT: Large format jobs, such as banners and signs have a little more flexibility when it comes to resolution, so line images that are 200ppi will work for large format. For photographic images on canvas, 100ppi is considered adequate.

Using Photoshop to See Image Size

Graphic-editing software such as Photoshop will almost always measure an image’s resolution via pixel dimension. To see what your image dimension is, go to Image > Image Size.

DPI in Photoshop


This image can be printed up to about 8.5 X 6.5″ at 300 PPI.


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