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With so many terms in the world of graphics, it’s easy to get confused. Taking a little time to make sure your graphics are sized correctly will make a big difference in the clarity of your printed image. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Know your acronyms- DPI vs. PPI
DPI, or dots per inch, is generally used more in reference to printing. DPI indicates how many dots of ink on one line across one inch. Usually, the higher the DPI, the better the quality of the printed image because the dots are smaller and closer together. PPI refers to pixels per inch and is used more in regards to digital screen images and video production. Now that you know the difference, we’ll mostly cover DPI as it applies to wide-format printing.

Size your images for their intended use
Image size and file size are two completely different things and can significantly affect the outcome of your printed project. You might think you can grab a picture from the web, pop it into your brochure, and hit print, but you’ll probably end up with a fuzzy image. The scale for DPI and PPI is different, for example: if you have a picture that is high-resolution and large, but reduce it to a small area and put it on your website, the file size is still very large and will slow your site load times significantly. In contrast, if you use a small web image and make it larger in a brochure, it may become pixelated or fuzzy when you print it. Make sure you adjust the size and resolution for your images intended use, which leads to our next tip-Adjust Your Numbers.

Adjust your numbers
While adjusting your image and file size, make sure your PPI/DPI is correct. For high-resolution printing, 300 DPI or greater at the final size is what you’ll need. Try not to resize your image while changing the DPI. Instead, you’ll want to keep the original pixel dimensions while changing your DPI. Remember that pixels determine the digital resolution of an image. A lower DPI is fine for a web image, but won’t work for your printed graphics.

Trust the experts
Your printer of choice should be able to direct you when it comes to your image size and resolution. The experts at Ferrari Color can help ensure your printed project’s success and make sure everything looks exactly how you’d like it to. If you have questions or you’re still a little unsure, email us today!


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