When you provide images and photos for your printed piece, it’s important to pay attention to image resolution.  The resolution of an image in your design could mean the difference between looking professional or looking you don’t pay attention to details.  Blurry, pixelated images can drastically bring down the appearance of your design, leading fewer people to read your message.   In many cases, a brochure or postcard makes your first impression with a new client.  How do you want people to perceive your business?

A universal rule for all photographs and Photoshop files is to use a resolution of 300 PPI.  PPI is an acronym for pixels per inch. So, if you set your image to have a resolution of 300 PPI, each square inch of the image will be 300 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall, containing 90,000 pixels total.  The commonly used 72 PPI only contains 5,184 pixels.

300 PPI is ideal for all circumstances because it allows the image to be viewed very small and also scaled up very large while retaining smooth, pixel-free edges. If an image has a resolution of 72 PPI, it will only be a clear image when printed at a very small scale.  Any larger, and that 72 PPI image becomes pixelated and unattractive.  The difference between a photograph set at 72 PPI and 300PPI is shown below.


Image res comparison

 Which would you choose for your design?

Vector images, such as Adobe Illustrator files, are unlike Photoshop files and JPEG’s because they do not need to be given a resolution. A vector design can be scaled up 500 times without losing any quality because vector programs run based on shapes rather than pixels. However, if you find yourself exporting a vector file as a jpeg, you will need again to set the image resolution in the dialogue box to 300 PPI.


All PHOTOGRAPHS, PSD’s, TIFF’s, and JPEG’s should be saved with a resolution of 300 PPI

Vector files can be sent as vector files with no need to worry about resolution.


If you have any questions about image settings or choosing the right image, we are glad to help!  From brochures to banners, please contact us and we will work with you to ensure a professional printed piece.