Are your images high enough quality?

A few weeks ago, my friend Ian texted me a question about an image he wanted to use on his printed wedding invitations: “What’s more important? The DPI or the dimensions. I just wanna send the printers the best possible image.”

When using imagery within a website or printed design piece, it’s a common misconception that an image you use online can then be dropped into a print piece and retain its quality. This isn’t the case!

Whilst there are many variables that can affect an image’s quality, there are generally 2 basic rules to remember when it comes to using the right size.

  1. Print materials = 300 DPI images

  2. Web designs = 72 PPI images

Let’s break this down a bit more.

What is DPI and PPI?

Essentially, DPI and PPI are measurements of quality within an image. DPI stands for “dots per inch” as that is what printed images are made up of (hundreds of little dots). A printed image’s quality is measured in DPI. The higher the DPI, the more detail your image will retain. Generally speaking, the highest quality image you will ever need when printing is 300 DPI, unless your printer specifically asks for higher.

PPI stands for “pixels per inch” and is used in reference to web images and how they are created (hundreds of pixels together). The same rule applies, more PPI equals higher quality. However, it is wise to note that larger images used for web will take longer to load for anyone visiting your website. Given that the average time a site has to make an impression is just 5 seconds, your image will need to load quickly. With this in mind, 72 PPI is widely recommended as the best size to both retain quality of an image, whilst still being able to load quickly online.

My answer to Ian, then? Make sure your image is 300 DPI, mate. You want your wedding invites to look as sharp as you will in your tux.

ResourcesAmy Hill