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DP I Need Help

What is DPI?

DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, the number of dots of ink used per inch to create an image on a physical page.

After reading that first sentence, I’m guessing your response might be: “SOOOO that’s what DPI means”

Of course, there are probably a number of you rolling your eyes and thinking: “Duh!”

However, pretty sure we can all agree DPI is a term we hear over and over.

Some sort of understand it, and I can tell you having been with Cushing a while it is very important, when sending print ready files. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss what DPI you should choose for your next print project.

What DPI should I use?

If you talk to any print shop, (but we know you only talk to Cushing), they will tell you 300 DPI is ideal. It is pretty standard among printing services companies and what our color experts recommend. As with anything, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Here is a handy guide to determine minimum (100 DPI) and maximum (300 DPI) file size that you need to create acceptable output.

DPI Chart

Ready to Print

Now that you have a better understanding of DPI and how to prepare a print ready file, let’s talk about a few ground rules (it is baseball season after all):

  • When printing an image to be viewed up close (within 5-7 feet),  you will want to use DPI between 250-300
  • The further away you intend to have someone view your image, the lower the DPI you can get away with
  • Always check your DPI before sending to print. Cushing’s color team can you help you determine the best DPI for your print project.

If you are even in a pinch, you can always check Cushing’s file setup guidelines.

Have you discovered tips or tricks related to DPI? Feel free to share them in the comments below.




Tom Cradick

Tom Cradick was born and raised in Chicago and a proud member of Cushing. One of Cushing’s On-Site Service Center Managers,  his primary responsibilities include maintaining several different types of printing equipment, coordinating large print orders, helping clients with daily print concerns and making sure the clients at his location remain happy. As an employee of Cushing for nearly 9 years, Tom‘s role is continuously expanding and recently, he has contributed to the company blog.

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