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How many times have you found the perfect image for your exhibitor graphics only to find it’s below the required DPI for large format print?
I’ve been sat at my screen many times with my head in my hands feeling this exact pain – especially when a big deadline looms. It gets worse when a client provides an image. Sometimes you couldn’t even print these on a postage stamp – never mind a 3m x 2.5m wall. That’s another story all together.
When 150dpi is more than enough
I won’t bore you with the science behind resolution. There’s a wealth of information online but I will give you a rule of thumb I follow. Based on years of experience I never print stand artwork below 150dpi at 100% scale. If you’re producing artwork at 25% scale it should be at least 600dpi (150dpi x 4).
Beyond a certain level of detail the human eye is unable to see more visual information in higher resolution images. Typically, stand artwork is viewed from a foot or two away. At this distance there is nothing to be gained by printing a 300dpi large format raster image. Even if you wanted to print 300dpi you would find it next to impossible to find images on a stock site. The file size would be many gigabytes and believe me they don’t exist on Shutterstock, et al.
I have spent literally hundreds of hours searching stock sites for the perfect image. If you add up all the hours downloading subpar images and opening them in InDesign, I dread to think how much time I have wasted.
A tool to solve the problem
To solve this ongoing problem, I decided to make my own resolution DPI calculator. I can now search sites like Shutterstock and quickly check images against the calculator. In the calculator I enter the dimensions of the image and then the intended print size in another field. Hey presto, a DPI value is calculated. If images fall below the threshold there’s no reason to download and open in your software. This in itself is a massive time saver.
Download my freebie and improve your workflow
If you want to improve your workflow and make similar time savings please download my FREE DPI calculator. Fill out your details below and I’ll send you an instant Microsoft Excel download link. Please remember to check your junk folder if you don’t see the email instantly.
If you liked this post check out my top 8 tips for setting up InDesign files.