Artwork Resolution Guide

The abbreviation DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and it refers to the output resolution of a printer. It literally means the number of printed dots contained within one inch of an image printed by a printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution and the clearer the image.

Most PC screens show images at 72dpi and they look fine. But if you were to print these images out in the same size that they appear on screen, they might look blurry. This is because PC screens and printers present images differently. The image would have to shrink in size by quite a bit to get it looking as clear in print as it did on screen.

Images that are being printed should be created at 300dpi. This ensures a much higher quality, clearer image without having to reduce the image size. When creating a new image, your software should give you an option to set resolution.

To demonstrate how images created at 72 and 300 dpi differ from each other, look at the two versions of our logo. Logo 1 has been created in 72dpi and Logo 2 in 300dpi.

Logo 1 – 72dpi

Logo 2 – 300dpi

As you look at the images now you may not be able to see any difference. If you zoom your screen in you will see logo 1 starts to become blurry whereas logo 2 stays sharp. You should be able to zoom your screen in to 400% and still see no change in logo 2 wheres as logo 1 will be very clearly blurry and this is how it would look when printed at normal size.

An alternative method of creating an image is to create a Vector image. This can be done using design software like Adobe Illustrator. Vector images are created using a mathematical formula as opposed to dots and because of this, they should never distort regardless of zoom. Vector images are commonly used where an image created on a computer needs to be significantly increased in size, for example large posters and banners.

If you need any help, please call us on 01273 917 939 or email us at
If you want us to create your artwork for you, visit our Design Service page for more information.

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