Have you ever run into a situation where you’ve sent images, maybe to the printer, and they tell you the pictures are low resolution and therefore won’t be good quality when they print? What do they mean low resolution? How do you get a high-resolution image?

What is High-Resolution?

High-resolution images or high-res as it’s often referred to, is a more detailed image with a higher pixels or dots per inch, which gives it a denser quality, and lets you zoom in close before the image becomes pixelated. 

High-resolution pictures should have at least 300 pixels per inch (PPI). This makes the photo resolution suitable and a requirement for printing any photos. You want to make sure that your photos are high-res so that they print clearly on your marketing materials.

How to Determine if Your Image is Hi or Lo-Res

A photo might look good on a computer screen, but it doesn’t mean it is good enough resolution to be considered hi-res. The best way to determine your photos resolve to open it up in an image program to view the file properties. Most computers come with an image editing program that will work for determining if your image is high-resolution.

Lo-Res & Hi Res Photos

Generally, low-resolution is used for websites, and high-resolution is for print. A rule of thumb when you are trying to print a photo is to divide the pixel size of the image by its resolution to get your maximum print size in inches.

For example, if your photo is 2,000 pixels in length at 300 PPI, divide 2,000 by 300, the picture can be printed in a size of 6 inches or smaller to keep its quality. This is why hi-res photos are excellent, with more pixels, they have a more substantial density, and the ability to edit, crop, and expand for printing. 

Make a Picture Higher Resolution

Sometimes trying to make a photo larger with result in a loss of quality and pixelation. It is hard to create an image bigger and maintain its class, but there are things you can try to get a higher resolution. Follow these steps to try and increase the resolution on your photos:

  • Visit a website, like imglarger, which is a free image resizing service
  • Upload photos to the box and pick the resize options
  • Pick the correct size and start your image resizing

It’s hard to make a small photo large and keep its resolution.  For a picture to be high-resolution needs to have a 300 PPI or higher. This knowledge is crucial if you are doing any web or print work. If you are downloading a stock image, you want to consider getting an XXL stock image.

At least with a larger image, you can re-dit and make it smaller for the web, but you will not be able to make a small image, more significant for quality printing. 

What to Look for

To determine if your image is high resolution for a printed brochure or advert, look at the size of the JPEG.  To start, the bigger your image file, the better. 

  • A JPEG less than 250kb, it is only suitable for use on a screen
  • 250kb-500kb can be used as a small thumbnail
  • 500km-1mb is usable for a one-eight size image on a brochure
  • 1mb-1.5mb will work for one-quarter size image on a brochure
  • 1.5mb – 2mb is usable for half page image on a brochure

Final Thoughts

Use these guides when you are editing and resizing photos to keep your high resolution and remember the difference, low-resolution is used for websites, and high-resolution is usable for print. Check out our other blog posts for more great guides! 

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