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graphic design Preparing images for professional printing
Shotz print Blog - SHOTZ Print Tutorials
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 14:44

pixelfish

It's important what to know when supplying images for print. Here are the main points you need to know when supplying them;

  • Generally, images downloaded off the internet are low in resolution and will be pixelated when printed. Nobody wants that. Screens generally have a 72dpi (dots per inch) resolution and print uses approx 300dpi (depending on the print process).
  • You can reduce an images' resolution effectively, not increase it. Well, this is not entirely true as you can open a 72dpi image in Photoshop and increase it's dpi; quite like making more beer by adding water (we've tried this also and sadly it doesn't work). You really need the quality from the offset.
  • When taking photos yourself make sure you have your camera jpeg setting set at maximum resolution.
  • File sizes are generally bigger when high resolution so that's a good indication. For example a 50k file will not print as well as a 1mb file. More pixels increase the file size. More pixels are good.
  • The larger the photo will be printed, the larger the file size will need to be, thus more pixels. More coverage means more pixels are required.
  • If you are reducing your image dpi (for web purposes for example), save it as a different name and keep the original high resolution version for future use.
  • Images on screen are set to RGB colour mode as that is how they are displayed. When printed, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) processing is used. Changing colour modes can create unexpected results so be aware. Rely on your printer at this stage.
  • Avoid making any image 'enhancing' on image software like Photoshop unless you know what you are doing and ensure your screen is calibrated reasonably well. Best leave it to the professionals.
  • If you have a photo you need scanning, bring the photo in for SHOTZ to correctly scan and retouch any scratches, fading or blemishes. Avoid scanning with a cheap home scanner when looking for a professional finish.

On a side note, back up your photos on discs aswell as on your hard drive. Even then another back up is recommended for important files.

Oh, and considering today's weather, do keep those photos dry!

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