The importance of using high resolution images for printing

Did you email us an image and our reply was…
sorry we cant use that image for printing?

That must of been a painful reply to read, but trust us, it was in your best interest!

The reason for our reply was because of your image resolution. When sending your artwork to printers they require all images to be 300 dpi for a quality outcome.

DPI (Dots per inch)

DPI (Dots per inch) refers to the number of ‘dots’ or pixels per each inch of a printed document. Inches, millimetres or centimetres is the actual size (either printed or scanned) of an image.

When designing files intended for offset printing, it is essential that all images in your artwork are high resolution.

Have you ever seen printed material that contains pixelated or blurry images? This is often caused by incorporating low resolution images.

An example of a 300 dpi image at 100% and a low resolution 72 dpi image placed at 100%.

Downloading images from the internet?

First of all, if you downloaded your image from the internet without permission you risk Copyright infringement.

Secondly, most images downloaded from the internet are low resolution images (72 dpi) not suitable for printing. Image resolution is the term used to describe the detail an image holds.

Why Resizing isn’t the answer

All artwork design programs allow you to resize an image you are working on. But it’s important to understand why simply resizing a low resolution image will not produce a true high resolution image.

When you resize and make a low resolution image larger to meet the printing specifications of 300 dpi, all you are really doing is stretching the image.

Since high resolution images are based upon the number of pixels an image contains, resizing will not create more pixels it will only make each pixel larger by stretching it.

Using Digital Cameras

Most digital cameras settings are saved by default as 72 dpi images. This is because a computer monitor only needs to display an image at 72 dpi. What looks great on your screen at 100% will not print well.

If you want to use photographs from your digital camera in your print job, you need to set your camera on the highest resolution possible. A higher resolution will mean better photos, but it will also mean that your camera can store fewer of them. Because the individual size of each photo will be larger.

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