Challenge 5: What is the minimum dpi required for printing file output?

Think, think like The Thinker!

What is the minimum dpi required for printing file output?

A: 72 dpi

B: 150 dpi

C: 300 dpi

D: 600 dpi

The answer is...... ▼

C: 300 dpi

Low-Resolution Images

Low-resolution images are considered 150dpi and less. For print, 150dpi is considered low-quality printing, even though 72dpi is considered the standard for the web (which is why it’s not easy printing quality images straight from the web). Low-resolution images will have blurring and pixelation after printing.

For business purposes, low-resolution images are suitable for scanning text documents and storing records digitally. Internal office communication can be reproduced with a low resolution, but anything used outside the office should be higher than 150dpi. After all, the printing quality needs to represent your business.

Medium-Resolution Images

Medium-resolution images have between 200dpi-300dpi. The industry standard for quality photographs and image is typically 300dpi.

For businesses, producing an external document like a brochure, a booklet, or a flyer requires 300dpi. You might be able to get away with 250dpi if you are less concerned with the quality and resolution of the printing. Any marketing material or collateral produced should be, at a minimum, 300dpi. Booklets, pamphlets, reports, and sales sheets should all be printed at 250dpi-300dpi or more.

A good rule to follow is when in doubt, select a higher dpi for your material.

High-Resolution Images

Most businesses consider 600dpi and higher to be a high-resolution image or print. High-resolution images require more memory to store and can take longer to scan. Storing high-resolution images can quickly fill a hard drive or server. Many desktop printers can’t reproduce high-quality and high-resolution images. Professional print services are often the best solution for high-resolution images.

Keep in mind, there are diminishing returns for increasing the resolution of an image. Any print above 1,200dpi will deliver improvements that are practically unnoticeable to the naked eye. You won’t be able to see any difference between documents. Only professional photographers or artists with highly detailed work will need resolution that high.

Better too high than too low

You can have a resolution that is too low, but you rarely have issues with an image where it's a little too high. So lean towards a higher resolution where possible.

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