Make Sure Your Image Looks Its Best

Mon, May 11, 2009 @ 02:58 AM Aaron Rains 0 Printing Basics

The optimal printing resolution for quality images is 300 DPI, or Dots Per Inch. Lower quality images result from a lower number of dots per inch in your image, and require less memory space.


One trick to resolution is; what you begin with determines the end quality of the image, so if you scan a 4x6 image at 300 DPI, you cannot increase the size without decreasing your DPI and lowering your resolution. Always remember; increasing image size, decreases resolution. The good news is if you decrease the size of your original image, you increase your resolution. The image quality is dependent on the resolution you start with and keep when preparing your files. If you take a photograph at optimal resolution and maintain that resolution, you will see the best results.


  • Recommended final image size scanned at 300 DPI
  • Always scan larger if you are unsure of the final printing size
  • Do not scan over 200% of the original image size

Digital Cameras

  • Set your camera at the highest DPI image quality setting
  • To get the correct resolution find the pixel dimension that your camera imports.
  • For example an image that imports at 2304 x 1720 at 72 DPI the size will be 32x24 inches. (2304/72=32 and 1720/72=24)
  • To find out what the largest image size would be at optimal resolution divide your pixel dimension by 300. Using the same pixel dimension as above results in 7.68 x 5.76 at 300 DPI. (2304/300=7.68 and 1728/300=5.76)

Stock Photos

  • Carefully check the resolution, image size, and the file size of the images you are downloading from stock photo websites

Web Images

  • Images directly from the web usually have a resolution around 72 DPI and are not optimal for printing
  • Do not add resolution to a web image it will result in lower quality images
What Is Bleed?

To ensure your printing is a success and your high quality images are crisp and clear make resolution your top priority! If you have any questions on image resolution or other file requirements, please give us a call at 800-995-1555.


Aaron Rains

Aaron Rains

Aaron Rains is the SEO Manager at PrintingCenterUSA and has worked in the printing industry for the past 12 years. His articles are all about helping businesses grow – whether it’s through social media, increasing web traffic or creating the perfect email campaign. Aaron is a featured SEO consultant on CREDO. Aaron’s passion for helping others carries over into the community, as well, where he volunteers at a food shelter and mentors at risk youth. Aaron received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Montana and began his career reporting for NBC before getting into marketing. Aaron enjoys surfing, snowboarding and riding his bike 100 miles a week.