Perfecting Your Printed Pictures

“A picture is worth 1000 words”—that is why we use pictures whenever we can to describe our business. Pictures enhance the words we use to name our business. Pictures catch the eye so that potential customers will give us a second look. We want your prints to look sharp, not blurry. That is why we ask for high quality pictures, like this artwork used on a banner to promote the Fun Farm corn maze in Kearney:Corn Maze Banner

By now most of us are familiar with “pixels” (the many tiny dots of color that make up a picture) and “pixilation” (when a picture looks grainy or blurry).  A high quality image has a high-density of pixels per square inch.  We call that dpi, or dots per inch.  The size of the file—how many megabytes the picture file is—is a good indicator of the quality of the picture; the larger the file size = the more dpi = the better the quality.  As you can see, a picture will pixilate more and more the closer you zoom in, or the larger you make it:

Raster vs Vector (web)

When we create or edit a photo for print, we save the JPG at a minimum of 300 dpi. When you take a photo, put your settings at the highest quality for maximum use. The higher the quality the better the picture will look when it is printed.

We can use lower quality pictures for some printing, such as business cards or small post cards, because the printed size is very small. Where the quality of the file really makes a difference is in printing signs, banners and posters.

Typically lower quality pictures are found when searching the internet. Always pay attention to the file size when you download a picture from an internet search. If you are purchasing artwork from a website, be sure to check the size of the file; often the larger the file the more you will pay, but if you need a large print it will be worth the price.

When a picture is sent by text, the texting program automatically reduces the dpi. If you want to print a picture taken by your phone camera, you will need to send the file by email.

Pictures downloaded from Facebook are often lower quality, and can only be used when printing small pieces.

For more tips on how to get a nice photo for print, just give us a call! 816-459-7552

-Linda & Peter

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