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If you are involved in creating the artwork that needs to be printed, then in order to help you get a better outcome you will need a new understanding the basics of the image resolution. There is nothing to worry about, as this is often based on the simple concepts. This is also not so complex that people use to assume about it. So, stick to the basics, and things will appear less painful for you.

What is the resolution?

Whenever you are looking at the images in the computer, you are exactly looking at the grid of several tiny dots that are also known as the pixels. In the same way, when the photographs are printed, they also comprise of several small dots of the ink that is used for the printing purpose. Well, the resolution of the image often refers to these small dots or known as the pixels which are often squeezed into just one area. In case of smaller dots, you can fit them easily into the horizontal inch and this will make the image look really sharper before you.


If you zoom into any photo, which appears on a computer screen, then you can see these dots or the pixels easily that often creates the whole image. This is even more noticeable if you look closely at a newspaper, even better if you look at it through a magnifying glass.

It’s the resolution for an image can be measured trough the dots appearing per inch and it is known as the dpi (dots per inch). It is also known as the pixels per inch or the ppi, Although dots per inch is still the most common terminology. Well, the ppi and the dpi often refer to the same sort of thing. However, it’s simply the dots and the pixels and the amount of them when combined to create an image are measured.

The images we are viewing on the computer screen should have the dpi of 72 so that they can appear as sharper as well as clear, this is the same resolution used for TV screens and Mobile phones as it is deemed to be a goo resolution for viewing images. The images loaded with low resolution often results into the bigger pixels or the dots. This sort of pixel or dot is often detected with naked eye. This may generate a fuzzy type of image. If the same sort of image is taken in order to reproduce it on the paper while using a printing process that is used for commercial purposes, then the resolution should be 300 dpi. This can only produce a quality image and better outcome.

As far as the printed image is concerned, it often requires higher resolution with comparison to the on screen image. So, if you are having an image that appears to be sharp and clear on screen, it doesn’t mean that it can be reproduced perfectly when it will be printed!


This image was given above has the resolution of 72dpi.
That’s why it is looking sharp as well as crisp on-screen.

Now the image you are looking at is the reproduction of the above image after printing. This has been done through commercial printing methods. This appears to be fuzzy with comparison to the first one.

The only way to make it look sharp and clear is to increase its resolution. Reducing its size to the level at which this has been reproduced can offer better outcome.

Can I improve the image’s resolution?

As per the basic, the resolution of the image is often determined when it has been created for the first time. You cannot really enhance the resolution of the image that exists. In case you are trying to enhance the resolution for an existing image with the help of the computer, it may generate new pixels and these new pixels will acquire the color of the old pixels that surrounds them. This will further result into the blurry image and the ugly color blocks will appear on the image.

If you can reduce the size of the image and make it small on the computer, then the resolution of the image can be enhanced. Keep in mind that for an image the resolution as well as its size is inversely proportional. So, while trying to enhance the size of the image, its resolution will go down and when you will make it smaller in size, the resolution will go up. You might have seen it while zooming the images on computer in and out. If you have an image of 300dpi that measure it in this way – 100m x 100m, then the resolution of the image will drop to 150dpi if you are trying to reproduce it with 200m x 200m.

There are image editing tools and software that people are using which are enough capable of showing you the size as well as the resolution of the image. Well, as a user you can use this sort of information in order to measure how much you can enlarge or you can reduce the size of the image in order to achieve a proper resolution that is of 300dpi.

Here is an example of an image set-up for A5 landscape printing. The width is 210mm wide x 148.5mm high, and the resolution is set to 300dpi.

With this you can view as well as adjust the size of the image. This also helps in adjusting the resolution of the image. While using Photoshop, you can perform all these operations elegantly. Most of the image editing tools will exhibit the same sort of functionality.

Without printing at 300dpi, the end result will only be compromised, so getting as close as possible to this goal is very important, a resolution lower than 200dpi is likely to print poorly unless you are using it as an effect or background then you will need to try and get your resolution between 240 and 300dpi.

Dean Williams is a design and marketing blogger working for Print-Print Limited, promoting business and building brands through quality print marketing. If you’re interested in small business promotion then please get in touch hello@print-print.co.uk

About Dean Williams

Dean Williams is a design and marketing blogger working for Print-Print Limited, promoting business and building brands through quality print marketing. If you’re interested in small business promotion then please get in touch hello@print-print.co.uk