The Differences between 72dpi and 300dpi

Photo by Guilherme Vasconcelos on Unsplash

The term DPI refers to the number of physical dots of ink in a printed document. It stands for dots per inch. DPI varies between a range of numbers, each displaying a certain resolution. The number to which your DPI is set in is based on where you want to display your image. If you are looking at an image of 72 DPI on your computer and print it out, don’t expect the resolution to stay the same. Resolution is basically the amount of information an image holds. If you see an image that is extremely detailed, that means that image is holding a lot of information, therefore having a high-resolution. It is important to note that the resolution of something does not mean size. Just because something has a high resolution, does not imply that it is greater in size.

For printing, 300 DPI is the standard. You need a much higher DPI than that of web image quality. No print should be lower than 150 DPI, which is considered the minimum standard. If printed at 72 DPI, the resolution won’t come out good and will look pixellated and fuzzy. There isn’t much of a difference if you use 200 DPI because we can’t technically detect the difference of image quality, but it is still recommended to use 300 DPI for better crispness of a photo.

The standard for your computer is a web resolution of 72 DPI. The reason the web displays images at this DPI level is so that they can load quickly. Images at a higher DPI tend to load slower. Once again, the resolution of an image on your computer may look high but that does not mean it will print out like that.

If you want to check the DPI of your image, right-click on it and select Properties. Then on top of the tap select Details. Scroll down to see where it mentions DPI and there you have it. On Photoshop, you can check by clicking Image > Image Size and a dialog box will appear. Where it says Resolution, the DPI should be next to it. Be sure not to change the size of the image, otherwise you’ll lose image quality. Turning off Resample will prevent you from losing this. By changing your dpi to 72 to 300, the dimensions will change, indicating that is the maximum size of the image that you can use to print.


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