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What is image resolution (dpi) for photo printing?

Image resolution for printing is the fineness of detail you can see in an image. It is measured in pixels per inch (ppi), or dots per inch (dpi)The more pixels per inch, the greater the resolution. You can think of this as similar to thread count in cotton sheets, or knots in handmade carpets: the higher the number per inch, the better the quality.

When you come to print, the pixels (ppi) are translated into dots (dpi). The image size of a file is a measure of the number of pixels along an image’s width and height. This is called the pixel dimensions and is measured in MBs. The document size of an image determines how large or small our image is going to print based on the image resolution.

As you change the resolution of a file, its physical dimensions change, and vice versa. Imagine the file as a flexible ball of data: rolled up tight there is a high resolution (pixel density) but low (linear) size. Rolled out flat, the resolution (density of pixels) is lower but the (linear) size has increased. It’s just like pastry!

Resizing is changing the size the image will print without changing the number of pixels in the image. Resampling changes the number of pixels in the image. Photoshop resamples images using interpolation methods to assign colour values to any new pixels based on the colour values of existing pixels.

You can read more about the different methods here. Information about how to use these elements in creating the best quality file for printing can be found in Using Photoshop to Resize and Resample. Understanding these basic terms will help you create better files, and in turn, better prints. To find out what resolution your file should be before printing, always use our ‘Technical Help Calculator’.

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Photo Printing

Prints ready for collection within 24 hours, or for delivery worldwide. We can produce prints in sizes from a simple 6×4 up to 2.74m x 1.22m / 108 x 48 inches, giving you a huge choice of sizes when it comes to producing your prints.

Fine Art Giclee printing

While all of our colour and black and white photo printing services are of gallery quality, a lot of photographers and artists like to produce their fine art prints on Giclee watercolour paper, using archival pigment inks.

Black & White printing

We can produce real Silver Gelatin 'Darkroom prints' from your digital files. Working with Ilford, we are able to print directly to Ilford Galerie Silver FB Glossy fibre based bromide photo paper and Ilford Galerie Digital Silver RC Pearl.

Mounting your prints

After your photos have been printed, our mounting team are able to mount the prints on a range of substrates, ranging from the lightweight foamex, foamboard or kapamount. We can also mount ctype photo prints onto more sturdy materials such as dibond or aluminium, backed with either battens or a subframe, depending on print size.

Framing your photos

When ordering online, we offer a limited range of classic photo frames, in three finishes: white photo frame, smooth black photo frame or a solid light oak frame. Alternately, just order your prints online to take advantage of our great value online ordering system, then contact us to discuss alternate framing styles and our range of thousands of frame mouldings.