5 Tips for Choosing the Best Resolution for Printing

Last Updated:
June 12, 2023
Kay Nicole

best resolution for print design

You may have heard of PPI (pixels per inch) when it comes to images on your computer, but DPI is more important for printing. DPI refers to the dots printed on paper and is the industry standard for print work to be printed at the best resolution for printing.

Always choose a higher resolution than what you would use on your screen. Printing a low-resolution image will cause blurry or blocky prints.


Many of the times that we see photos that turn out pixelated or blurred on print, this is due to low resolution. The problem is often caused by enlarging the image without adjusting its pixel dimensions.

The problem can be avoided by understanding the relationship between pixel dimensions, print size, and resolution. When we talk about pixel dimensions, we're talking about two different values: the physical size of the image (width and height) and the number of pixels used to represent the image on the screen.

The number of pixels used to represent the image is called the pixel resolution and is usually reported in terms of pixels per inch, or PPI. A high PPI is the best resolution for printing and will make the image appear sharp and clear, while a low PPI will result in a grainy or pixelated image. The viewing distance can also affect the quality of a print, as it takes longer for the eye to begin recognizing individual pixels when viewing large prints from a far-off distance.


As with print size, color resolution can affect the quality of your prints. For example, images scaled up too much without proper adjustment often look "blocky" or pixelated. This is because the eye can only see so many tiny colored squares at a time and must guess the overall image.

You can avoid this by ensuring that your image size and resolution are correct for the printed output. This means that you should use the same number of pixels per inch (PPI) for your print as you used when sizing the image for digital display. Most print services ask for 300 ppi, but 250 or even 150 ppi is adequate for specific prints.

Some programs can "upsize" your image to help you produce larger prints, but these should only be used as a last resort. You will generally get superior results starting with high-resolution photographs than low-resolution ones. This is because the larger pixels in digital cameras can produce more detail. This makes them a better choice for the best resolution for printing than the smaller pixels in compact cameras.


Contrast is a powerful tool for enhancing an image. You can use it to highlight certain aspects of your subject or to add depth. Contrast is also essential when it comes to print resolution. The higher the contrast, the sharper and more detailed your prints will be.

It would help to always match your image's pixel density to your printer's dpi. Otherwise, the image will be downsampled when printed, and you may notice artifacts like miro (c), jagged edges, or banding.

You can find several online printing services that will ask you for your digital file size and dpi so that they can create the best quality print. It's usually recommended to stick to 300 dpi, although 240 or 250 dpi can be acceptable for smaller prints. The dpi is determined by multiplying your image size in pixels by the printing size in inches.


A high-resolution image will look crisp, sharp, and professional. On the other hand, a low-resolution print will look fuzzy and indistinct.

This is because resolution measures the number of dots printed per inch or pixels per inch. For printing purposes, the standard resolution value is 300 pixels/inch.

However, a high-resolution value is optional if an image is only used for digital usage. It could be a disadvantage because more pixels equal bigger files and longer loading times.

Moreover, the viewing distance can also affect the image's required resolution. For instance, a billboard will probably not need a high-resolution image because people will be standing further away from it. Nonetheless, it's essential to consider the resolution of a digital image before printing it out. This can avoid a severe drop in the quality of your print.


Many people have printed images from the internet that looked great on screen, but when they were printed, they looked pixelated and blocky. This is because a lot of digital images are saved at low resolution.

Generally, the higher the pixel count (and therefore the resolution), the better the print quality. However, there are other factors to take into consideration as well. One of the most important is expected viewing distance. If an image is going to be viewed from a close-up, it may not need a high resolution.

Some recommend 300 dpi for images that include text or are more significant than 2 x 2. A resolution of 300 dpi will produce sharp, precise results without any noticeable artifacts at typical viewing distances. Increasing the resolution above 300 dpi will not significantly affect the print quality. It will just cause the file size to increase, which can add to the cost of printing the job. It can also result in longer wait times as the printer needs to process the large files before printing.

These tips can be your guide to help you prepare for the best resolution for printing.

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