Design, Prepress Fundamentals, Printing

Prepress Fundamentals | Image Resolution

3 Comments 05 December 2009

Have you ever printed out an image, only to find out that the print was very blurry?

The most common reason images come out blurry when printed is because the image resolution is set too low. This is true even when the monitor shows a perfectly sharp image. Image resolution is usually described in ‘DPI’ (Dots Per Inch) or ‘PPI’ (Pixels Per Inch).  This literally means the number of dots that are printed per 1″ of paper.

Why does something that looks sharp on your monitor come out blurry on paper?

This is because a typical computer monitor only has the capability to display resolution of 72 DPI and does not have the capability to show the high DPI needed for print work. Most printing is done at 300 DPI although depending on what you are printing, higher DPI may be required and in most cases, higher DPI will result in a sharper image.

How can I check if my image is the correct resolution?

To check your image resolution, open Adobe Photoshop® and click on the Image drop down menu. Once the drop down shows, click on Image Size.

image size

Once the Image Size window is up, look at the Resolution to see what your image resolution is.  The image below shows that the image that is currently open is 300 DPI.  Also, if you want to print this image, you’ll see that it will come out to be 15.2 inches wide and 11.4 high.

300 DPI resolution

This image below shows that the open image is the same size as the previous example [15.2″ (W) x  11.4″ (H)].  The difference in this window is that the image is 72DPI, which is suited for computer monitors, but if you were to print the image, the image will come out blurry.

72 DPI resolution

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3 Comments so far

  1. timothy says:

    I’ve forgotten to check the resolution on my images often in the past and wasted a lot of ink. Thanks for the reminder to check our resolutions when we print

  2. Tom says:

    Timothy, It’s a good rule of thumb to check image resolutions, especially when you print a final draft. Thanks for visiting Cash Back Printing

  3. Jody says:

    Nice fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignment. Thank you for your information.


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