• Little Bird Digital

Image Resolution - why is it so important?

If you've ever taken a picture on your phone, and taken it to have it enlarged at a photo printing place, you will understand that what you see on screen, may not exactly translate to what you see in a printed image.


Image resolution is vital when producing print graphics. Poor resolution will result in grainy, blurry, or even pixelated images when printed. In basic terms, resolution refers to image quality. The density of pixels will determine the resolution i.e. the higher the dpi or ppi the better the resolution.


From time to time, we have clients ask us to "grab an image off their website", or "just borrow something off the web" leaving us to try and explain why this won't work. On screen images can be as low as 72ppi (pixels per inch) whilst good quality high resolution print images are usually 300dpi (dots per inch).


Web Resolution vs. Print Resolution Explained

As explained above, screen resolution is measured in ppi (pixels per inch) and print resolution is measured in dpi (dots per inch), however these labels are often used interchangeably. Generally the screen on a computer monitor is made up of pixels of a fixed resolution – generally 72ppi to 100ppi – any image geared to that resolution looks fully detailed and super fine to the naked eye - on screen! Take that same image and print it at full size, and the pixels will be obvious.


Alternatively, standard print graphics require a resolution of at least 300dpi. This level of resolution will offer high detail, clarity, crispness and will enable the image to be sized to any enlargement without losing detail or distorting at any point.


So when you are deciding on what images to use, please remember that size really does matter!