What is DPI in printing?

So first let’s understand what DPI is. DPI stands for ‘dots per image’. Furthermore, is utilized as a proportion of the degree of detail repeated in a picture or by a printer. The expression “dots” alludes to the dots of ink applied by a print gadget. Dots per inch alludes to a proportion of the number of those ink dots applied along an inch-long queue of a file . Otherwise called ‘speck thickness’. It gives a decent sign or the sharpness of detail that can be accomplished by a printer.


DPCM is somewhat close relative to DPI. It’s a metric alternative to DPI. DPCM stands for ‘Dots Per Centimetre’. Notwithstanding the reasonableness of DPCM, it’s anything but a generally received term. However, DPI remains the business standard estimation for dot density.

DPI resolution

Resolution – What is DPI in Printing?

DPI stands for ‘Dots Per Inch’. When we print an image, text, well, anything, the image is made from tiny dots. The dots cant be seen by the naked eye without a magnifying glass. The dots are made from 4 colours in colour printing (Cyan, yellow, magenta and Black). When put together, the dots make up an image. An easy way to imagine it is if you think of one of those mosiac photo posters. A big photo made up from 100’s of tiny images. It’s the same thing.

Below we are going to go in-depth to explain all about DPI in printing.

A Helpful Estimation

To make your printing look sharp and clear, with no pixelating, ‘fuzziness or looking blurry, you need a high DPI. 

Print resolution – What is DPI in Printing?

Print resolution is estimated in dots per inch (or “DPI”). This is the number of dots of ink per inch that a printer will print onto a piece of paper. Along these lines, 300 DPI implies that a printer will produce 300 tiny specks of ink. This will fill every line in an inch of print.

300 DPI is the standard print resolution

Graphics should be at least 300 dpi x 300 dpi. Or 90,000 dots for every square inch to create a high print quality. You can go higher. However, it all depends on what resolution the printer can print. But as a guide, 300 DPI is great for printing.


How the two work together

Graphics that are to be displayed on screens only (like a web page, for example). You need to save the file as 72 DPI. When graphics are displayed onto a screen, there is light behind the screen. It’s not produced onto a media. Because of this, 72 DPI is perfect. 


An important note: If you have a graphic that is 300 DPI and it’s going to be displayed onto a screen, you don’t have to downsize the image. The screen will show the image perfectly.  

If you want to print your graphics, you need to ensure the file is 300 DPI at 100% of the print size. The greater we attempt to print the 300 pixel × 300 pixel picture, the more pixelated it becomes. The eye can begin to see the individual pixels, and the edges become exceptionally rugged. See the image at the top of this post.


This is likely the most popular of all file types. It is what most computerised cameras save images as. What you have to remember is that JPEG records are packed rapidly in the camera. And this brings about a deficiency of detail and quality. Great for on-screen, but unless it’s high resolution, it won’t print great.

Cameras set up to store however many pictures on the memory card as could reasonably be expected. A few cameras will have choices for various quality degrees of JPEG (e.g., low, medium, and high). This means that the better the quality you require, the fewer images will be stored on the memory card. High-resolution files use more data.


As a rule JPEG’s should be utilised:


  1. When the photographs are for individual use For web-based media, collections, and small photo prints.
  2. At the point when you don’t expect to improve or alter the photographs much after creation (e.g., utilising Photoshop)
  3. For sharing pictures using email (without the expectation of huge size prints)




  1. Little document sizes imply more can be put away on a memory card
  2. Speedier document move times because of more modest record size


Negatives (cons)


  1. Loss of value because of picture pressure
  2. Less open door for picture control in photograph altering programming

TIFF Files

Tiff DPI

Tiff files are the industry-standard document design and is by and large what print or distributors request, regardless of whether the end document design required is a JPEG. These record designs are typically uncompressed and subsequently offer the open door for broad post-handling. Because of how they are uncompressed, they are likewise a lot greater records, So this will take considerably more space both on your memory cards and for capacity on your PC. A few cameras offer TIFF as the most crucial picture quality level in-camera.


  1. Capacity to control photographs widely in photograph altering programming
  2. The alternative to print at the highest calibre and a lot bigger sizes




  1. A lot greater record sizes (more memory required)
  2. Longer exchange and stacking times because of the document size

RAW Files

RAW file DPI

Crude documents are by and large accessible on cutting edge minimal cameras and DSLRs. It is the ideal choice if you need to get the most flawlessly record from your camera – this is the choice favoured by proficient picture takers. The issue with not utilising crude documents is that your camera will make changes for all time inserted into your photographs.


Crude records are compacted utilising a cycle that holds the entirety of the data initially caught. This implies that changes, such as white equilibrium, presentation, contrast, immersion, and sharpness, would be modified in picture-altering programming after the picture has been taken. Shooting in a simple configuration will require a lot of memory cards, also impressive post-preparing time. It will likewise need some essential information on picture altering programming, for example, Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, as records should be changed and changed over before they can be utilised (to share on the web, print, ship off companions, and so on)


  1. The best quality picture record is caught
  2. Broad choices in post-preparing and picture control



  1. Time expected to change over and alter photographs (you should alter crude records)
  2. Greater record sizes mean more stockpiling required and longer post-preparing times

PNG Files

PNG file

Planned during the 90s as an improvement for GIF document design, PNG records are ideal for the web. The strength of PNGs is that they are compacted in a lossless organisation, thus holding all the advanced detail. In any case, unlike other document arrangements, that quality doesn’t mean enormous record sizes, which are not valuable on the web where you need pages to be stacked rapidly. The other advantage of PNG documents is that they take into account fractions (impacts like drop shadows) or complete straightforwardness, which is ideal for overlays or logos.



  1. Lossless pressure implies excellent picture quality, which isn’t undermined when altering
  2. The capacity to look after straightforwardness, which is ideal for things like overlays or logos



  1. Quality is not always sufficient for printing at any size.

GIF Files

GIF file

Like PNGs, GIF records are ideal for use on the web. Lossless pressure implies picture quality isn’t relinquished, and like PNGs, they additionally offer the capacity to look after straightforwardness (yet can’t uphold fractional straightforwardness) and consider movement. Nonetheless, the restriction of GIF documents is that they can contain a limit of 256 tones, and along these lines are not the ideal decision for photographs, yet instead pictures with a restricted shading palette.



  1. Small document sizes make this ideal for use on the web
  2. Documents can contain liveliness


  1. Restricted tones imply it isn’t the ideal decision for photographs
  2. It doesn’t uphold incomplete straightforwardness like drop shadows

Why is formatting necessary?

Formatting is essential to DPI in printing because it affects the resolution and magnification of the image resulting in minor to significant changes in the image. When you print your piece of work, the outcome and quality rely on your DPI.


To sum everything up, DPI determines the resolution of any image. The resolution is important because of how it changes the image’s appearance, causing blurriness or an unprofessional look altogether. An image with high resolution will produce a high definition print. One of the causes of lack of resolution would be the format you save the image in. The format is a factor that could and will weigh in towards the overall look of the image or picture when it’s printed. 

Do you find this article helpful?

Why not read Preparing Your Artwork Correctly For Print in 2021, Our Large Format Artwork GuideHow To Create a High-Resolution File or browse through our blogs page.

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More than just print launched in 2020 as an online print shop, but we’re part of The Printroom Group. We are a family run business since 1977. We have four print sites across the Thames Valley and employ over 30 staff in Bracknell, Reading and Camberley. Our clients include some of the largest companies in the world. These include Dell, Oracle Corporation and HP. Find out more about The Printroom Group.

More than just print is part of The Printroom Group – the Thames Valley’s leading family-run print business for over 40 years.