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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, the greater the detail and quality.

The number of pixels makes a huge difference in quality, as shown below.

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. When in doubt, always work with high-quality images.

The most important element to consider when printing images, is how large they can be 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 by 300. For example, if an image is 4″x 6″ on the printed page, 4 x 300 by 6 x 300 = 1200 x 1800 resolution.

Large Format

Large format jobs like banners and signs have a little more flexibility when it comes to resolution. Line images that are 200ppi will work for perfectly. For photographic images on canvas, 100ppi is considered adequate.

Using Photoshop to See Image Size

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

DPI in Photoshop

This image can be printed up to roughly 8-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ at 300ppi.


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