Recommended Resolutions for Printing Graphics

The debate about resolution has been around as long as digital printing has existed, and there still seems to be much conflict over what the best resolution is for printing graphics. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to suit all situations, but the guidelines to finding the perfect resolution are pretty straightforward.

The goal of printing an image is to make is such that the individual pixels aren’t visible at the distance the graphic will be viewed at. What this means is that for images that will be viewed up close, the resolution (measured in DPI, or dots per inch) needs to be high enough that individual pixels are not visible.

Design Guidelines

  • For designing something that will be held in the hand such as a brochure or flyer, the optimal resolution is 300dpi. You may be able to get away with 250dpi in some situations, but it’s better to have your resolution too high than too low.
  • Something that will be viewed from a short distance like a poster on a wall requires a lower resolution. When viewing a poster from 6 feet away, a minimum resolution of 100dpi is required.
  • A billboard being viewed at a distance of 30 feet will require a minimum resolution of about 20dpi
  • If you’re printing from an inkjet printer at home, use 300dpi.

It’s a better idea to have a resolution that is a little too high, rather than one that is too low. Lean towards a higher resolution where necessary to avoid pixelated images.

It is a common rule that every project should be created at 300dpi, but that simply isn’t true. Remember, having a resolution that is too high is better than one that is too low. If you’re unsure of how to get the best resolution from your images for graphic printing, let the experts at Abbott Communication Group help. Call us today at 407-831-2999 with any questions!

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