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A Guide to Resolution

Printed at correct size
Printed at correct size

A digital image or a piece of artwork created in a program like photoshop is made up of thousands or even millions of tiny little squares of colour known as pixels. We can decide how many of these pixels make up the image by setting the PPI or pixels per inch. This is sometimes referred to as DPI or dots per inch, but DPI is actually a measure of how fine a printer can lay down ink.

If we print out our images at the right size the result will be a sharp crisp print.

Scaled up to around 500%
Scaled up to around 500%

However if we try and print it a little larger than it should go we will start to see pixellation or blurring in the print. This is because we are scaling the pixels inthe image up, making them visible to the naked eye.

To avoid this you need to know the physical size you are going to be printing your image at before you start. The PPI along with your image size determines how large you can make your final print without it looking pixellated or blurry.

Just follow the simple table below using the optimal PPI where you can.


Getting enough resolution into your file is important but also having too high a PPI will result in an unnecessarily large file that could delay your job.

If you are following the table correctly and your file is too large please get in touch and we’ll guide you through a simple checklist and get your image ready for print.

Related Frequently Asked Questions


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