What Is “DPI” In Printing?

What Is “DPI” In Printing?
  • Tech Support Helpline
  • 14 Jul 2021

DPI is the acronym for dots per inch that are applied to papers and is used to describe the resolution of that particular image. When the ink is dispensed from inkjet printers on the paper, as multiple dots it creates an image. It is said that those dpi’s don’t play much of a factor when you are printing text files or documents although if you are a professional photographer you should know what is dpi.

What Exactly is DPI IN Printing?

To understand the concept of DPI resolution you must broaden the horizon for a bit:

Consider a photograph that has been zoomed in on a computer. As the photo expands, the image becomes blurry or fuzzy we all know that pixels tear. The edges of people in the image or items become less smooth and torn pixels become much more visible.

 This is because the pixel density wasn’t aligned properly but the overall size of the photo was adjusted. When pixel density, or pixels per inch (PPI), isn’t adjusted for a photo re-size, the quality of the photo’s appearance will suffer. So what does this have to do with DPI..?

It’s simple: if you have a printer with a low DPI resolution say 150 dpi and you try to print a state-of-the-art kind of photograph, the picture will come out on paper the same way the zoomed image on the screen appeared. Edges will be rough, color gradients will be poorly transitioned, color gamuts will be hampered and the photo’s features may appear grainy patchy, or block-ish. But remember that DPI is different from PPI.

Where PPI refers to on-screen pixels (square pixels) that directly touch one another, DPI refers to printed dots (round dots) with in-between spaces.

What DPI Is Good For Printing?

Distance is the one factor, that plays into the resolution image.

Generally, though higher the DPI higher will be the resolution of the image, if the image is enlarged the Dpi is decreased hence the quality becomes blurry. If you want crispier photos go for the highest DPIs.

A rule of thumb is to obtain at least 300 dpi if you are printing on flyers, photos from Inkjet Printers. If you are printing for larger prints say, billboards or standees which are going to be seen from far away, you can get away with fewer details that is 150dpi.

Today’s Printers go up to 600 by 1200 dpi or 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi, which means they are printing more from one direction or giving more resolution to the horizontal or vertical side of the image whichever way it is given.

If you’re printing for text documents, you do not have to worry about these things, as printers contain enough dpi’s to get you without graphics picture the quality you need.

DPI uses Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black CMYB Color models when the dots are printed upon the image. These colors are then combined and DPI is the measurement of the details of the image based on how much concentration the dots were injected, and the resolution is affected only depends upon how the inks are appearing on the page.

Ink And Paper Also Makes A Difference In Resolution

DPI is not the only thing you should base your ‘Quality of an Image on’.

Several important things dictate the resolution of an image, two of which are INK and PAPER

  •  Ink – The kind of ink used in printers can alone decide the number and the resolution of an image. In Laser Printers, toners are used which are good enough to produce crisp and sharp documents, it will not bleed on paper as a smear of ink will do.
  •   Printer Paper – Paper is another major factor that decides the quality of an image so if you are using cheap ink cartridges your print will be that quality no matters the dpi it was promised whilst buying printers.

 If you are a professional wedding photographer use the right kinds of paper in your Inkjets, for the desired quality. If you only want it to give out email prints then normal papers will be okay, as it does not need to put effort into regular fonts.

Overall many factors contribute to the quality or resolution of an image, it is recommended to explore a little with dimensions and you will know what is best for you.

In the end, even the good images can get ruined for multiple reasons such as printing not working or software problems. If you are suffering from those you can contact the Printer support phone number for any queries, issues regarding any of your printers, and making sure that your prints are always top-notch quality. 


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