Artwork
A guide to Image Resolution

Here is a guide to Image Resolution from Lemon Press. One of the most common issues with printing is image resolution, if too low it can make the image look blurry or pixelated and can make your printed marketing materials look low quality.

Image Resolution: DPI v PPI

When it comes to image resolution there are two main factors to understand, DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixels per inch). Once you understand DPI and PPI it will help you ensure that your printed marketing materials have a high quality finish, and are not let know by image resolution.

If you have ever found yourself saying “it looked fine on my screen, why has it printed blurry?” This is because screens view documents at 72dpi and commercial printers print at 300dpi. Images that are made up of dots are called raster images, another common file format is vector files. Vector files are made up from equations which means they can be resized without losing quality or sharpness. They will never distort regardless of how large you make the vector file.

Designing for print

The best way to avoid low image resolution is to ensure that you always use images at 300dpi when designing for print. The table below is based on printing a portrait document at 300dpi which will give a high quality result. When measuring a digital image there is no defined size in cm or inches, this is determined by the dpi.

A Size Size in mm

(without bleed)

Size in pixels 300dpi

(without bleed)

Size in mm

(with bleed)

Size in pixels 300dpi

(with bleed)

Business Card 85 x 55 mm 1004 x 650 91 x 61 mm 1075 x 720
DL / Comp Slip 99 x 210 mm 1169 x 2480 105 x 216 mm 1240 x 2551
A6 148 x 105 mm 1748 x 1240 154 x 111 mm 1819 x 1311
A5 210 x148 mm 2480 x 1748 216 x 154 mm 2551 x 1819
A4 297 x 210 mm 3508 x 2480 303 x 216 mm 3579 x 2551
A3 420 x 297 mm 4961 x 3605 426 x 303 mm 5031 x 3579
A2 594 x 420 mm 7016 x 4961 600 x 426 mm 1087 x 5031
A1 841 x 594 mm 9933 x 7016 847 x 600 mm 10004 x 7087
A0 1189 x 841 mm 14043 x 9333 1195 x 847 mm 14114 x 10004

After following the guides set out in the table above you still notice that certain parts of the document are low resolution have a few options on what to do next:

Replace

If you notice that your images or artwork are low resolution, then the best thing to do is replace them. This is so they do not affect the overall quality of your printed materials. When you replace them make sure that you replace them with files with a higher resolution or with vector files. If you are purchasing images from sites such as Shutterstock, always ensure that you purchase images in the largest possible resolution as they can always be made smaller, but a smaller file cannot be made bigger – unless it is a vector file.

Resize

This is always an option if the component in question is a vector file. If not a vector file you may be able to reduce pixilation by reducing the size of the image, but this may affect the design of your printed materials and it is probably best to replace the image with one that is the right resolution.

Just go with it

You may be tempted to just go with it and think a pixelated image will not be noticeable once printed. We strongly advise against this. We always recommend that you fix any low resolution issues prior to going to print. In fact, our pre-press software flags up any low resolution images.

If you have any queries about image resolution or would like to discuss your next print project find out what Lemon Press can do for you, call us on 01527 510262 or email info@nulllemonpress.co.uk

Need a print estimate?