Graphic Design Lesson: Final Output Setups

January 26, 2010

There are people out there who have created a Photoshop, Illustrator, and JPEG files and print them, thinking that they’re going to get a perfect picture…but they don’t. It’s a low resolution printout and it looks hideous. Well, did you set up your documents DPI/PPI correctly?

When you open up a new file, the one thing that gets overlooked in MANY cases out there is the Pixels Per Inch or Dots Per Inch setting. This number is usually defaulted to either 72, 240, or 300 and each of those numbers are for different output sources.

If you’re strictly viewing the artwork on a television, computer monitor, cellphone, or any video (RGB) device, your out put should be 72 DPI. As for the pixel dimensions, you should always consider monitor size. Most people out there will have a computer monitor and the resolution of 1440×900. Creating an image larger than that would be pointless because of image file size and just how much of the image will run off the screen. So a pixel dimension within 1440×900 would be suitable for any monitor.

Now we get to print. If your artwork is going to be printed on something, whether it is a letterhead, #10 envelope, billboard, business card, etc., you should ALWAYS set it to 300. It’s because 300 will print perfectly. But you’ll sometimes get artwork that will be at 200-240 PPI, that’s perfectly acceptable, but you’re just getting close to what won’t print well.

The size of what you’re going to print will relate to the pixel dimensions too. For example, let’s say I wanted to use a photograph taken at 300DPI and has a pixel dimension of 1050 x 600, and have the photo printed on both a 3.5″x2″ business card and across an 8.5″x11″ brochure. So it’s going to look perfect on a business card, because a business card measures 3.5″ x 2″ which is the equivalent of 300DPI at 1050 x 600. But if I were to stretch that same photograph across a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, it’s going to look horrible. So make sure you know what your pixel dimensions are!

There you go. I’m sad the Vikings lost. 😦

Please Brett Favre, come back for another season.

Also, get your printed envelopes and commercial print produced at PurpleMonkeyPrinting.com. We print tons of stuff, like 6×9 catalog envelopes, 9×12 booklet envelopes, 8.5×11 letterheads, bank drive-up envelopes, business cards, postcards, and much more. So print with us today!

Vun Run


You: Voice Your Opinion

January 21, 2010

Custom Designed Envelopes

What type of things relating to graphic design or design in general annoys you? Certain fonts? Certain styles? The dreaded drop shadow?

Feel free to voice your opinion on the bottom!

Posting and reading other posts will probably make you more aware of bad design, too!

…And keep it clean. 🙂