A Brief Guide to Artwork Resolution

High-resolution artwork is essential to digital printing, regardless of your application. This brief guide explains what we mean by resolution and what you need to provide to ensure you get a high-quality result.

What we mean by Resolution

Resolution has several meanings related to digital printing:

  • Pixel resolution: the number of pixels that an digital image holds, often measured in pixels per inch (ppi or pixels/inch)
  • Print resolution: this is the level of detail that digital printers can produce, often measured in dots per inch (dpi)

(PPI is often just referred to as DPI as pixels are kinda like dots, and saves us having to say "pee-pee eye" all day.)

In order to print in high quality, you need both a high-resolution printer and a high-resolution. We have the high-res printers, so you just need to bring the high-res files.

Recommended resolution for digital printing

Application Recommended Resolution
Most digital printing applications 300ppi
Finely detailed work such as high-quality photographs and fine typefaces 600ppi

Beware of web graphics

Web graphics are only required to have a resolution of 96ppi, which is a typical resolution for HD desktop monitors. Screens make 96ppi look good by using rendering techniques such as anti-aliasing to hide the staircasing effect that you get when pixels are big enough to see with the naked eye.

Commercial digital printers don't do anti-aliasing. If you provide us with low res web-quality graphics then we'll print those giant pixels in all their jaggy glory.

As a general rule, avoid creating print artwork using images that you've saved from a web page. Source your images from repositories such as BigStock which sell images suitable for small format printing. We can also help you source photos and other stock graphics if you need help.

BigStock: https://www.bigstockphoto.com/

More info about resolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_resolution

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