I'm about to start work on a graphic design in Photoshop mainly for web output, however, there will be some print output down the line like magazine covers and possibly billboards.
With such a wide range of possible output needs, I'm wondering if 300dpi will be adequate or do I need to go with something higher, like 600dpi?
I will be using Photoshop and also will be using photos only available at 300dpi
Can I stick with a 300dpi canvas or do I need to go higher?
Thanks for any feedback!
I admit I haven't done a lot of print work, but when I was doing it, the printer I was using told me that even 300dpi was generally too high, and that most people had a completely wrong idea of what resolutions are needed in printing. I tried to do a lot of study on this, and never could quite understand how it all worked. But FWIW, I'd say from that experience that 300dpi is plenty.
That's my general thought, too. But I have a boss that insists on 600dpi for EVERYTHING and it's kind of getting on my nerves. Also, working with files that large bogs down my system and is a pain in the butt to move around.
But I have a boss that insists …
[Puts fingers in ears] La la la la la! I can't hear you!
Ah bosses, you gotta love shoot them.
Sorry to be late to the party on this one.
My background is print and I moved into web as it was required.
Generally 300dpi is great for anything up to about a A1 or A2. Anything larger and the resolution requirements start to drop because the viewing distances are greater. Most artwork submitted for these large formats eg. billboards are resampled to increase the resolution and the size required. The main ingredient in all of this is a good starting resolution.
Basically with a high resolution starting point you can always produce a good web version and also a good print version. The important thing to remember is to think for print because if you create a great web sized graphic and the boss decides to plant it on a billboard you're in trouble. If you've started with that in mind you can easily downsample (Save for Web) your cool graphic and also send the file off to the billboard company.
A 600dpi high resolution photo is better off course because it gives you more room to breathe, but it largely comes down to what dimensions we're talking at 600dpi. A tiny 3cm by 3cm graphic at 600dpi might satisfy your bosses desire to have everything in "600dpi", it probably isn't going to cut it with that billboard company though.
I suggest that you play around with the Image Resize in Photoshop (with the resample unticked), and watch what happens when you change the units and increase or decrease them. Or change the dpi. Once you understand how they are all interrelated you will understand the importance of a good original. The computer can upscale and "guess" or make up extra pixels for you. But a crappy original just looks crappier when enlarged. A high resolution original photo can withstand all the pushing and pulling that print requires.
As with all of this most of us occupy the middle ground where you can fake a lot. I'm often handed all sorts of web resolution rubbish and asked to get it into print. There are fudging skills but always given the choice: high quality original artwork that was designed for print = GOLD my friend, GOLD.
And just to add to what Slackr has written: if you can work with vector graphics then do so. Then you don't have to worry about resolution!
By the way, don't forget to read up on the differences between RGB and CMYK if you're trying to prepare graphics that wil be used for both web and print. It can be awful if you prepare a great graphic in RGB for the web, and then just send the same file off to print.
Blown up to 90cm by 90cm that image would then only be 20 dpi so you'd probably need a much higher resolution for the original 3cm image if you were going to blow it up to the equivalent of billboard size.
You could probably get away with blowing up a photo taken on a 35mm camera (or equivalent 24 megapixel digital camera) by that much because it starts out with a much higher resolution in the first place and so would still have about a 150 dpi resolution even after being blown up that much.
The higher resolutions for small images are mostly useful for when you expect them to be blown up to much larger sizes for some uses. An A5 at 600 dpi can be blown up to A1 size and still be 150 dpi.
300dpi suits you, sir.
For web, I use 72dpi
For print, I use 300dpi, no matter what format (small and large prints), just to be sure the quality is fine.
If you have a poster that is larger than 1 meter, you're not going to look at it from 10 cm distance. You're going to look from a few steps away to see the whole picture.
I second the idea to work with vector graphics if possible. You want to have as much leeway as possible once you get into custom printing. If you can't work with vector graphics I would say increase your dpi to 600 just to be safe. Once you get to the printing point, check out 48HourPrint.com. They have a great site for uploading custom designs and getting quality printed results.
Isn't 600dpi (and higher) just for specialized printing, like high-quality photo prints? And I don't mean for advertising... gallery/display type stuff. I'm pretty sure that 300dpi is more than suitable for most commercial applications. You can even get away with 200. I believe 600 is for more artistic prints and stuff for framing and other display.
600dpi sounds about right for a glossy mag - best bet is to check with the people who will be printing most of your stuff - or a printer that is printing one standard thing (e.g. magazine cover) and one who's doing the billboard
first of all you'd be dealing in ppi not dpi and it really depends on the image, or rather the amount of detail.
But I would say anything more than 500dpi is pushing overkill.
I tend to overkill, but also because I crop like hell. What you need to do is find out that printers LPI ( lines per inch) and , for overkill sake .. multiply by 2.5.
As a point of reference a news paper is 85lpi, a nice news paper is 120lpi, and a regular mag is around 150lpi.. and most of these medium work with graphics that are only 1.5 times their LPI anyway, so my 2.5 includes overkill)
So if they tell you they print at 210lpi, your graphic is pushing EXTRALAGE at 515ppi.
Here is WHY , in the age of broadband and DVD oversized images can be bad:
1) they tie up the RIP
2) and this is what matters to me, really, print houses sometimes ( read: MANY TIMES) tone the images to match the calibration of their printing equipment... After all whats the use of "sharp" images if the color is wrong, right? This means that if you send TOO much information (this is why 1.5 - 2.5 the LPI is optimal) then what you have is the color information of all the pixels above what the printer equipment can handle gets "averaged" ... poof there goes your color accuracy ...
The point is: call your printer, ask about toning curves, and lpi and use 1.5-2.5 the lpi and you will be golden.
OH .. and I hope you aren't thinking of merely "upping" the resolution on a low res image.... BAD BAD BAD ( if that's not the case, I hope I haven't offended your intelligence these days is best to cover all bases )
EVERYONE HER TYPES FASTER THAN ME
About billboards... billboards are a different matter all together. IME, billboards have the same DPI as newspapers or even flexo. If you get up to 5-6 feet from a bill board pixelation in images. The thing is, unless you want to inspect a model's nose hair, most people dont see a billboard from 6ft away... more like 60 yards... and usually at speed. so you have lower resolution but a larger size.. averages out to the same effect on a billboard.
Just want to put my vote in.
In my office we go for
72dpi for Web Images
300dpi for typical prints (posters banners etc)
600dpi for portfolios or special client presentations.
You got to have a system that has at least 4GB-8GB of RAM and
a multi-core processor if you really want to edit those things at 600 dpi comfortably, especially if you want them on big dimensions.
dpi - well you mean ppi (pixels per inch) is irrelevant for the web: 1 pixel is 1 pixel, you just need to be concerned with height and width
Say No to 72 dpi