Has your designer (or your friendly photo-enlarger guy) ever asked you for a high(er) resolution image for the project they’re working on? What does that mean? Do you know what high resolution versus low resolution actually looks like? And what the heck is DPI?
First, you must know that every image is measured in pixels (tiny dots of color), not inches, not centimeters, not cubits… pixels! The computer monitor on which you’re reading this most likely renders images at 72 DPI (dots per inch). In other words, a single line of pixels across a 20-inch monitor is going to have 1,440 (72×20) pixels of color, no matter how big or small the monitor.
Contrary to that, most professional printing projects use images that render at 300 DPI; the dots are much, much smaller, which is crucial for creating crisp, clean lines in the print process. Because of this much higher amount of dots/pixels needed, web images usually don’t work for print.
I know this is a lot of math, and it hurts my head too. But it’s important to understand, because that photo your friend posted on Facebook the other day, or that nifty image you found on Google most likely isn’t going to print very nicely for that wall frame that hangs above your couch.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Comic Sans is NEVER an acceptable font. Unless you are an 8 year old girl writing a poem about unicorns.