“This is going to look amazing”, thought the client when he sent his file to the printer. But when he finally got his prints, they looked anything but spectacular. “What happened? That picture looked amazing on my monitor”, he wondered. Low image resolution is what happened — it transformed the client’s beautiful photograph into a blurry mess.
Are you sure your images always have the right resolution before you click ‘Print’? Continue reading to find out!
Pixel perfect: screen versus print
When you’re viewing a well-defined image on screen, you’re looking at approximately 72 dots or pixels per inch. Print that same image at the same resolution however, and the result will look blocky or blurry. Why? It’s because a lot more pixels can be fitted in a print than on a screen.
The ideal image resolution
Getting your prints to look picture perfect requires a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch. In the case of large format printing, 1800 pixels per inch will yield the best result.
Getting a large image resolution
You are never going to get a high-quality large-format print of a photograph unless you change the camera settings to the largest image resolution and size available. If you’re printing your own graphic design, it’s best to opt for a vector image instead of a JPEG, BMP because vector images can be rescaled to any size you want while the quality remains unchanged.
- Although photo editing software usually includes a resizing feature, scaling up images in this way tends to yield heavily pixelated results.
- Did you know? To calculate the maximum size of a print, you simply divide the width and height of the image (in pixels) by 300. For example, an image of 3600 x 2400 pixels will result in a 12 x 8 inch print.