Our design studio clients often ask as what is the ideal image resolution for web or for print. Images on screen are made of colored squares called pixels. Ideal screen image resolution (detail an image holds) is 72 pixels per inch. If an image is less than 72ppi, it will appear fuzzy (what we call pixelated). Low-resolution images are difficult to work with and can make presentations/websites appear unprofessional or sloppy – usually a clear indication that someone isn’t overly “web-savvy.”

On the high resolution screens that have become popular in recent years, 72ppi might still look pixilated. Whenever possible, our graphic designers recommend you use .svg files for images on the web, for icons and buttons for example. Those are vector files, resolution independent, will always look crisp on any screen, and are small in file size.

When it comes to ideal image resolution for printed materials, the ideal resolution is 300 dots per inch (dpi). This is appropriate for materials viewed up close (brochures, books, flyers and most posters). However, there are some exceptions. For example, billboards viewed up close look like massive dots of color – they are meant to be seen from far away so the resolution works by creating a clear image from your car or the sidewalk.

Before committing to an image for the web or print, it is best to check that the resolution will be large enough at the size at which it will be reproduced. Web images: 72ppi. Print images: 300dpi.

image resolution design