Print Resolution

Do you actually know what the term dpi means? Can you say exactly what a high dpi number means for a printer, and what that has to do with the distance between you and a booklet? If so, you can confidently put this article aside - or pass it on to friends and acquaintances: because dpi - the unit of measurement used to measure print resolution - is one of the concepts that most people are vaguely aware of, but which yet often remain unclear. Anyone who is not a graphic artist or has to do with the design of print materials, often knows nothing more than that: dpi has to do with the printing resolution. High time to eliminate ambiguities point by point!

What does dpi mean?

The term dpi is called "dots per inch", translated "dots per inch". One inch corresponds to a length of 2.54 centimeters, so it is a measure of length. If a value of 500 dpi is specified, this means that the printer will store 500 points next to each other over a length of 2.54 centimeters. The more dots that are, the higher the dpi value and the resolution: As the dpi number increases, the printed image becomes sharper.

dpi, ppi, lpi - all the same?

Somewhat less frequently than dpi is the term ppi ("pixel per inch"), which basically means the same, but refers more to the digital image in the term designation. In addition, there is the lpi value ("lines per inch"), which is actually a measure of the raster width for (offset) printing. With lpi, the resolution of the press is specified instead of a print file, as is the case with the dpi data. Who is not a professional, it has to do in dealing with printers, digicams & Co, however, primarily with dpi.

Symmetrical and asymmetric dpi value.

Surely you have already noticed that some information about the print resolution consists of two different dpi values. This is because the print head that prints the "dots" not only moves in a row, but also from top to bottom, so the dots are printed on a longitudinal and a transverse axis. If both values ??are the same, z. At 500 x 500 dpi, the resolution is symmetrical. Usually then only a single value is given. Are they different, eg. B. at 700 x 500 dpi, it is called an asymmetric resolution.

More points for photos and picture documents.

A high resolution speaks for a high image quality. Nevertheless, it is not the most important argument for every user, for example when choosing a printer. The print resolution plays a big role for all those who frequently deal with photos and graphics: If you want to be able to print even enlarged pictures not "pixelated", but precisely and in high quality, you need a device with high dp Number, as they offer, for example, photo printers. The more dpi, the smoother the transitions and the smoother and more natural the color and grayscale!

On the other hand, for users who primarily require text documents, even printers with a low resolution offer absolutely high-quality print results.

The higher the better? The disadvantages of high print resolution.

Of course, a high dpi does not hurt. However, not only the extremely sharp, high-quality graphics and photos are associated with the immense density of points, but also some disadvantages: Of course, claims a document with high resolution correspondingly much space and can hinder with his amount of data quickly times the workflow. In addition, there are longer loading times: the many tiny pixels take up a lot of space for their size. However, the dpi can often be easily reduced on the computer - either via Windows / Mac or using an external image editor.

How much dpi for what? The viewing distance.

A large poster has a different pixel count than a flyer or booklet. Format and intended use play a major role in the printing resolution! In general, the greater the distance of the viewer to the image, the lower the resolution must be. That is why the individual pixels are recognizable from posters at close range. Assuming for such posters of size A1 or A0 a viewing distance of about 2 meters, then usually enough a resolution of about 50 dpi, with large posters, it is often only 20 dpi. Of course, a brochure that we are looking at from a distance of about 30 centimeters must be finer in resolution - here, one starts from about 300 dpi.

Order dpi: What makes the paper quality.

How high-resolution an image is printed also depends on the paper selection. For example, for very high-absorbency papers, the dots applied by an ink-jet printer become thicker and larger in diameter. The printer will then spray fewer dots to make sure they are neatly separated. Smooth special papers, which also include photo paper, can be printed on the tiniest dots, which ensure a particularly accurate print image.

Point victory in photo printing: the inkjet printer.

There is a reason why users are more likely to use the inkjet printer when it comes to photos and graphics: Ink jet printers are still working at a much higher resolution than printers using laser technology. The default value for the laser printer is about 600 x 600 dpi, which is absolutely sufficient for a clean typeface. In order to reproduce photos as detailed as possible, inkjet multifunction devices and printers have a resolution of at least 1200 x 1200 dpi. In many cases, the numbers are also significantly higher.

However, the dpi value is not the only criterion for or against inkjet or laser printers: The decisive factor is still what printed and what the device should be used for - the resolution then almost automatically results.