Image Quality? Is it good enough for print?

One of the most common problems we encounter when people send in artwork is that their print files contain low-resolution images.

What does this mean, how does it happen and why is it a problem?

To illustrate,lets take a simple example.  Suppose you have a thumbnail image on your computer and you enlarge it.  What happens?  You lose resolution and the image becomes pixilated, or fuzzy.  Imagine if you tried to print that on an A4 flyer?  You wouldn’t get a good image or create a good impression.  A thumbnail is a small file, and doesn’t contain the detail required to properly print.  The quality of the image can be measured in DPI, or dots per inch.  For print,we require 300dpi in order to ensure proper print quality.

The mistake most people make is in taking images from websites, copying images or pictures.  Ignoring the copyright issues which may arise, the problem with these images is that a computer screen only needs 72dpi (or more correctly 72ppi) to show the image clearly.  Websites don’t need to contain hi-resolution images, and can achieve the same result with a low-res file.

When you take that image and put it into your artwork, it may look fine on screen.  The problem arises when you try to print it.  If it lifted from a website you can guarantee it’s low-resolution.

We always review artwork before we print it, so we always catch these issues.  Something the files are “OK – but not great” but we always point this out so that the client is aware of the issue and can make a decision on it before it goes to print.  Where possible we try to fix the issue (if it’s text etc by re-creating the text in hi-res), but if it’s an image that’s not always possible.

We pickup other issues, like changing RGB colours to CMYK, inserting cut marks and bleeds, fixing sizing of the artwork (e.g. it’s sized for A4 but is required to be printed A5).  At we ensure that your artwork is fit for print and you approve the print file before we proceed to print.

If you have any concerns about your artwork or getting your artwork ready for print please give us a call to discuss before you go too far.  We’re happy to advise and assist in any way we can.