Importing photos - 72dpi resolution enough for printing a flyer?

Chat about the original Pixelmator.
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2018-02-23 16:46:12

I am creating a flyer, which I will print at 300dpi. A lot of the images I want to use I got off the internet, and they are 72dpi. Do I need to up the resolution of the photos - say, in Preview - BEFORE I input them? How can I tell if they'll print well - is my MacBook Pro monitor a good judge? Thanks
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2018-02-23 17:30:39

(TLDR = Divide how many pixels across your image is by the number of inches you want to print it. If the number is 300 or more then you're more than fine. As it gets less you get progressively less so.)

Aha... the difference between PPI and DPI. They sound alike but are very different.

300 DPI (Dots Per inch) is a physical quality of the printer. It can print 300 black dots over an inch. They'll all be smeared together but that's what the printer thinks it's capable of doing.
72 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) is a guide for the designer telling them that, at the intended size of display, each inch of the display should contain 72 pixels. Now these pixels aren't just like the blobs of ink on a printed page, they are crisp pixel squares containing one of possibly millions of colours. As it's just a guide, it can safely be ignored in all but a few circumstances.

Since a pixel will contain more information than a dot, you are more than fine if you can meet the dpi of your printer with your image. Depending on the quality of the paper and the quality and type of your printer you'll almost certainly be able to stretch that to 2:1, 4:1, I'd certainly be concerned at 10:1.

Do a little maths. Look at the physical size of your images. How many pixels are they across? Take a guess at how big they will be on your flyer. How many inches will they be across? Divide one by the other and that is how many PPI you'll actually be supplying to the printer (because the 72 was just a guide).

If this number is greater than 300. You have more data than you need. If it's less than 30 you may have problems. Somewhere in the middle and you'll have to use an educated guess as to how good the printer is (on a scale of superhumanly wonderful to absolute garbage).

Congratulations you now know more than most of the design world does about DPI and PPI.
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2018-03-02 11:03:31

If you are doing a flyer (A6 to A5 usually) then you should be OK....anything bigger, like posters, i.e. A4 (or US Letter size) and above, then best to work it out