I have a series of Artwork, digitally stored, where I am looking to print them off as Giclee Prints. Never created Giclee Prints before, I have spent time looking at what constitutes a Giclee Print. Paper Choice, Inks and of course the DPI; among other aspects.

Regarding the DPI, all my resources state that the DPI should be between 300-360 DPI. This level would constitute a high standard.

That being said, I have come across many Printers who claim to print over 1,200 DPI. Naturally, I would assume this would result in better quality. Despite this, I am wondering whether anything over 300 DPI would be overkill. After all, Giclee Prints are regarded as the best variants of all Printing methods, typically being associated with a DPI range of 300-360 DPI.

As such, is a DPI over 360 DPI, simply overkill or are there instances where such an excessive DPI would be useful?

  • How big do you want to print it?
    – Luciano
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 16:01
  • The smallest being 6" by 6" with the largest set at 60" by 36".
    – Craig
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 16:17
  • 1
    Keep in mind that "Giclée" is a completely unregulated marketing term that often means little more than "fancy ink-jet print", hopefully in fade-resistant ink on acid-free paper. Be sure to read reviews of the vendor before you buy in.
    – 13ruce
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 16:28
  • @13ruce ... Thank you for the advice. In my research, I have found great inconsistencies in what a Giclee actually is; which may explain the lack of regulation. That being said, I do see that a 'proper' Giclee should factor in: Choice of Paper, use of a 12 Ink Cartridge Printer, use of Pigment based (rather than dye based) Ink and the level of DPI being set to a minimum of 300. It is surprisingly difficult to find a Printing company who meets that criteria, hence looking to go DIY.
    – Craig
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:07
  • I will spam another post I made: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/22030/… and I still need to finish a video about it...
    – Rafael
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


DPI of your image document is not similar kind of DPI as that of a printer. This is why a concentrated effort has been made to call the former PPI.

A raster image has 8 bits of colors per dot/ channel and a printer has 1 bit per dot/ channel. This means that a printer need s quite a bit of dots to accomplish the same thing. In fact a 1200 DPI offset or laser printer can hardly achieve 300 PPI color or gray scale images you would need around 3,000 DPI to do so. Now a inkjet can do better so it does not need as much DPI but then it's dot is not comparable to a offset dot.

As such, is a DPI over 360 DPI, simply overkill or are there instances where such an excessive DPI would be useful?

No i wouldn't say so. But again depends on if you mean PPI or DPI. For PPI one can argue that anything above 300 PPIis wasted. In my experience that's not really true though ive used 600 PPI for fine art prints and there is some difference to be had, certainly 600 is overkill. But 360 is probably ok.

In fact if they ask anything other than 300 then they probably know what they are doing. 300 being i dont care and i dont really want to discuss the subject matter.

  • 1
    I am maniac regarding this stuff. For a 300 PPI grayscale image, you use a 2400 dpi printer resulting in a 150 LPI image for offset printing, without considering the screening angle. The ratio to maintain the "relative information" is a matrix of 16x16 = 256 levels of information. But you also could use a 4800 dpi printer to have a 300 LPI image... which you do not see very often... I have not.
    – Rafael
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:06
  • @Rafael yes, i have not really seen 300 LPI done all that often other than the few cases where i have tried it. I dont think its worth it 200 might be. But there is really no reason to assume this applies to inkjets. PS: though you get better quality if you allow for 1.6 as afactor to from PPI to LPI than 2 so 3,000 iss till relativvely valid 2400 is just the lower bound.
    – joojaa
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 19:19
  • @joojaa ... Thanks for your response. I am aware that the PPI is the 'input' with the DPI being the 'output'. Not sure if I am misunderstanding the technical element here. My assumption is that a Printer can only print what is entered into it. As such, how could a Printer print at 2,400 DPI if the image is set to Print at 300 DPI?
    – Craig
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 23:37
  • @Craig it would not able to capture 300 PPI if it didnt somehow halftone the result. This halftone pattern needs more dots to be done. Anyway describing how it exactly works is a bit longwinded. Try converting a grayscale image to bitmap in photoshop.
    – joojaa
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 4:06

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