February 5, 2014
Web Versus Print: Image Resolutions and Sizes
Websites generally have a smaller resolution than print. Our computers show information in a more compressed format–a lower quality. When I save images for the web, I save them at 72 dpi (dots per inch). And good resolution for print starts at 300 dpi. So it takes a lot more storage space (kilobytes or megabytes) to save an image for print.
Generally when providing images to someone for printing, it’s good to give them as large a file as possible so that they have what they need right off the bat. So an image for print may be several megabytes in size, even many megabytes!
People who are unfamiliar with working with print often ask if they can resize an image to make it bigger so that they can have a clearer image for print.
The answer is no. You can shrink an image down to make it smaller, but you can not expand an image to make it larger. If you do, you will lose quality in the image’s resolution and it will look grainy or fuzzy.
When providing images to someone for a website, they typically do not need the images to be in high resolution, yet it is still good to provide what you have at high resolutions (without shrinking it down) just in case. Images for websites can be anywhere from less than a kilobyte to 100 kb or more, but it is really better make them much smaller than 100 kb especially if you have several images on a page.
If you are new to website updates and find yourself in the position of having to update sites, it behooves you to shrink the image down in size (in megabytes) and quality–make it just good enough so that it looks professional on the website. Otherwise it’s going to take a long time to upload.
I recommend that anyone who is working with images in print or web buy Adobe Photoshop–it’s one of the best programs. There are different versions of Photoshop. For people who are just doing basic things, Photoshop Elements should be enough ($60-$70).
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