Offline marketing still relies heavily on printed materials, such as advertisement banners and even billboards. All of these printed advertisements are designed digitally, then proceeded to be printed with digital printing technology. Obviously, we all want to see a good quality printing as a result. But some people who are not familiar with digital printing might ask, “If I want to print 3 banners with 3 different sizes, should the resolution be the same? Or is there any suggested resolution to optimize the printing process, so the result will be a good quality printing?”
The answer is: yes, there is actually the optimum resolution for every type of printing material to result a good quality printing. As a note, it is mostly determined based on its printing size. Now, let’s dig deeper, shall we?
First, you need to understand your printing needs & size
People would say the bigger resolution is always the better option. While this is true in terms of the printing quality, you may not want to apply this for every design because the bigger resolution can make the ripping* process slower, and hence, slowing down the overall printing process. Then, how to determine the best resolution for your design quality and process?
(*Ripping is the process to translate/ rasterize the vector files to a raster image, also known as a bitmap, that is composed out of a matrix of dots that the printer can understand. This process can make the file size larger)
Is it true that the bigger, the better? Nah, you don’t need to set your design to 300 dpi for everything. First, you need to find out what size will the design be printed. Is it the 2×1 m banners, or 10×12 m backdrop? Larger printing materials don’t necessarily need to have a larger resolution, and vice versa, the smaller printing materials will always have to be designed with a larger resolution.
The resolution we’re talking about here translates to the number of DPI or Dots per Inch. DPI is the number of dots or pixels in every inch. The higher the DPI resulting in the higher the image resolution and the lower resolution means the lower DPI.
Now that you have understood the key point, the next question would be: why don’t I need a larger DPI for larger printing materials? Would I end up with a blurry image if the larger printing area is not supported with the larger DPI? Large printing materials (such as a billboard or meter-long banner) usually will be seen from afar. It means, people won’t notice even if the text or image is a bit blurry because it’s still good as long as the text is readable from afar. But the smaller printing materials, such as pamphlets or brochures, will be read from up closer, hence you will need the sharper image for it to be readable.
Here are the recommended image resolutions for a good quality printing
After knowing your needs, now you need to adjust your design with the proper but good resolution. Here’s the resolution you need for every kind of printing size:
- Brochures, small banner, sticker, or other printing materials that will be read from up close: 300 dpi
- Poster, roll banner, standing banner, or other printing materials that will be read from + 2 meters away: 100 dpi
- Billboard, large banner, or other printing materials that will be read from + 10 meters away: at least 20 dpi, but for a better result, you may want to set it to 50-72 dpi
- Other printing materials that will be printed with inkjet printer: 300 dpi
Please take note that this recommendation is only applicable for the image resolution (dpi), not for the printing size itself. You still need to set your design to fit its real size, but adjust the resolution as recommended above for a better printing process and quality.
You will also need to use the right printer to create a high-quality product. You may want to pay attention to your printer type: a hi-res printer will definitely work well to print a larger resolution image. But, a low-res printer will not be able to print a large resolution image exceeding its maximum quality. So, it is better to make sure what type of printer are you using. It will determine whether you make good quality printing as a result.
If you still have more questions regarding the resolution setting or choosing the right printer, feel free to contact our team. We will be glad to assist you further!