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Is the resolution of your image high enough to print?

Posted by in Blog, Graphic Design

Resolution is the amount of pixels within and image’s width and height.
It determines how detailed an image will look and it is commonly measured in pixels per inch (PPI).
The more pixels per inch the better the image will look.

Graphic illustrating image resolution

When sending your catalogs, banners, business cards, etc, for print, the image resolution should ideally be of 300 pixels per inch.
Don’t trust what you see on screen. Most computers display images as 72 pixels per inch resolution,
so even if your image looks great on screen, it might not be good enough for print.

The best way to know if your image is good for printing is by using a photo editing software like photoshop.
Look your image settings and make sure that the resolution is at least 300 pixels per inch at the final size that it will be used.
If your image resolution is 300 pixels per inch at 2” x 2”, it won’t be good enough if you want to print it, let’s say, at 10”x10”.

If you don’t have access to a photo editing software, file size is another way to “kind of” know if your image is good.
High resolution files tend to be heavier in weight.

  • If your file is less than 250kb, chances are that your image is only good to be shown on screen.
  • 250kb – 500kb images, might be useable as very little thumbnails.
  • 500kb-1mb, ok for one eight of USA letter size (8.5” x 11”)
  • 1mb – 1.5mb, one quarter of USA Letter
  • 1.5mb – 2mb, half USA Letter
  • 3.5mb, up to USA Letter
  • 6mb+, tabloid (11” x 17”)

The above is a broad principle based on experience but it’s not 100% accurate.
Your graphic design agency will check if the images you send are good enough for print.
That said, you should always send the highest resolution images available to you when you ask your agency to start designing.