4 Handy Tips on How to Print High-quality Images
The most surprising aspect of printing photos at home is the inevitable mismatch between the resulting print and the image on your smartphone. Sometimes the pictures come out too dark, blurry, reds look like orange, name it. The challenge of high-quality printing photos starts with using the wrong print resolution, i.e., the number of PPI (pixels per inch) you want the image printed at.
Sending too few pixels causes the printer to add a few pixels to fill the page, and using too many causes the printer to shrink the image. This resizing compromises the quality of the image, especially when using a JPG image format. Here are other factors that affect the quality of printed images.
- Source of the Image
If you want a high-resolution image, it’s best to use photos taken on a digital camera or phone. This is because photos from social media platforms, websites, and screenshots have been compressed to smaller file sizes. Keep in mind; the primary goal for these websites is speed and performance. As such, the images used are small and of low quality to reduce the load times. While the photos appear great on screen, the quality is not the best for printing high-quality images.
- Printing Resolution
Generally, the best printing resolution is a function of two factors: what you are printing and the viewing distance. Experts recommend a PPI of 300 as it is the best cut-off for the two elements. The human eye can’t discern details in images printed higher than 300 PPI (pixels per inch). Therefore, when printing images for home wall art, determine how close people will be when viewing them. The shorter the viewing distance, the higher the resolution.
- Camera Resolution
It’s the value that determines the quality of the printed image. An image resolution is measured by the number of pixels running along an inch of the printed copy. The more the pixels, the higher the resolution. Since one megapixel stands for a million pixels, every megapixel in the digital image has a million pixels. If using a 12MP camera to take a photo, the image produced comprises 12 million pixels. Therefore, the higher the MP count on a camera, the higher the pixel count and resolution of the printed image.
- Image Format
Before delving into the best image format for printing, we need to understand the difference between vector graphics and raster graphics. A raster graphic is a digital image comprised of colored pixels that create a smooth continuous image. Once the graphic is created, its pixel count can’t be adjusted. This means as you increase the size, the image becomes blurry. Raster image file extensions include JPEG (jp), PNG (.png), TIFF (.tif), BMP, and GIF (.gif).
Vector graphics, on the other hand, comprise digital images that use mathematical equations to images made from shapes and lines that can be adjusted without compromising image quality. As such, they are used to create murals, logos, or icons. File extensions include.PDF, .SVG, .DXF, .EPS, and .AI. If printing images from a smartphone using SnapCanvases Print At-Home Canvas Kits, then you will be using a raster image in the JPEG format. This file format is the best for producing high-quality images at compressed file sizes. However, if printing an illustration with a transparent background, use the PNG file format as it captures the background pretty well.
Next time you print a family photo from your phone, you are sure of printing high-quality images if you follow the tips above. Ensure you use an image directly from your smartphone, set the printer to the right resolution, and use the right image format.