The answer is not so obvious too many people.

With over 20 years of experience in prepress work, I’ve seen the results of the title question never being asked before presenting what the client feels is the finished artwork. Imagine you’re involved in prepress procedures for a high-quality print project, something like a magazine that is best served using images with a minimum of 300 PPI. It’s an awkward situation when an ad client sends an image they acquired by right-clicking and saving it from some website. Web resolution images don’t translate well ( by that, I mean they’re awful) for printed materials. The best practice before printing an image is to understand how the number of pixels per inch affects the finished product.      

The Number of Pixels = Size & Quality

No matter what device you’ve used to capture a masterpiece, the image will be measured in pixels. The more pixels in an image means it can produce a larger print. It’s important to know, although your images may look awesome on your phone, tablet or computer screen, it doesn’t mean the quality will translate well to a printed product. It’s not fun to receive your prints just to learn the images are pixelated, after all, seeing individual pixels is a sure indicator the image size was not matched well to the print size. Submitting a 72 PPI image to your favorite print house and expecting to get a quality 8×10 is a far-reaching, unrealistic expectation. Before you print an image, it’s wise to consult a pixel to print a conversion chart, which will benefit you by yielding the best quality print. It’s simple, just Google search for a pixel to print conversion chart and you’ll be presented with more than enough options. Most likely you’ll have to weed through a few to find one that is explained in simple terms.

Copyright © 2017 Kerry T Crane