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Image Resolution: Do Knowing About DPI & PPI Matters?

Graphic Image that represents the concept of Pixels Per Inch

Image Resolution: Do Knowing About DPI & PPI Matters?

DPI & PPI, What's the deal?

Being able to measure both digital and print images accurately is essential for any business. Knowing the differences between DPI and PPI and image resolution basics can give your company a competitive advantage.

Dots per inch, or DPI, is a standard version term for image size resolution, often used when discussing printing processes, and PPI, or Pixels per inch, for digital format. DPI is used to measure the resolution of image files. This means the higher the dot density, the higher resolution and the sharper the image. In other words, DPI measures the number of dots placed in a line across one inch.

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picture of small size on the screen of a camera representing what is image resolution

Pixels per inch or PPI is often used to measure the resolution of a digital image or, in simpler terms, to define image size. PPI is calculated by dividing the number of pixels in an image by its width or height. The resulting number is often rounded off to three decimal places.

High or Low? Finding What Works Best For Your Image Sizes

Something to keep in mind is what format in the image will be displayed. For prints, a higher-resolution image gives the printer more information. The printed image can be more detailed with a higher DPI. A lower DPI for prints makes images have fewer points, so it won’t provide enough raw data to the printer, and the ink will spread, giving the edges a fuzzy look.

photograph of a landscape with some image resolution traits to represent the idea of image formats

So, What is Image Resolution?

Prints have a limited range of colors, so in comparison with a monitor, a printer should offer a higher DPI to try to match the color quality and resolution of a video display PPI or pixels per inch. The higher the dpi, the better the resolution, and, therefore, the better the print quality.

However, having a high dpi is not always necessary ,so your image looks good. You have to keep in mind the format. Images on the internet are typically 72 dpi, which is low resolution, but on a screen looks okay. Using a 300 dpi image on a website is a mistake. The site would take longer to load; in the end, it’s unnecessary.

Using a 300 DPI image on a website is a mistake. The site would take longer to load; in the end, it’s unnecessary.

So, What Are Considered Low-Resolution Images?

Medium-resolution images have between 200 dpi – 300 dpi. Keep in mind that photographs quality in the industry is usually 300 dpi. For print, 150dpi or less, images with this resolution will look blurry and pixelated. High-resolution is 600 dpi, these images need more memory to store, and many desktop prints can’t reproduce high-quality resolution images, so professional print services are required for printing solutions for these types of images.

Be Careful!

A mistake you have to be careful not to make is to upsample, which means taking a small image and changing the resolution, let’s say from 72 dpi to 300 dpi, but this doesn’t increase the image resolution, it just makes the pixels in the pixelated image larger.

illustration of a greek woman in a pixel style to cater a metaphor about image resolution

Implementing the wrong solution might affect how customers perceive the products and the company. Also, it would generate difficulties for employees. An image with a lousy resolution is viewed as a mistake and can risk the company’s credibility. An image quality represents the business.

But image size is not only a matter for designers to manage. Any employee could know what dpi is right for an image. Choosing the right DPI can influence the efficiency and cost of print services. So, next time your designer asks, ‘What is image resolution?’, you better watch out! 😂

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Sebastian Galarza
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