As for designing for retina do I.... set up the image canvas to be the true size to my display device, say iPad screen size (not resolution size) Dimension size. Then set my dpi to 72....? Is DPI 72 or... the resolution to whatever the retina display is (I.e 4k, 1080p etc)

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    – Vincent
    Apr 7, 2015 at 14:04
  • 1
    possible duplicate of Smartphone resolution
    – Scott
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


DPI is completely irrelevant. What matters is the number of pixels.

A non-retina iPhone, for instance, is 320 pixels across. A retina iPhone is 640. (The iPhone 6's retina is 750 pixels wide).

What makes a device 'retina' is that it uses more than one physical pixel to create a virtual pixel. An non-retina iPhone and an iPhone 5 are both 320 virtual pixels wide. But the retina screen has more physical pixels, so you can create a sharper image.

So, if you need to design an icon that is 100x100pixels, you'd also want to create one at 200x200 pixels for retina screens. They'd both look the same size-wise on screen, but the latter will have more data, and therefore more detail.

  • 1
    I think this is the correct answer (+1). DPI is irrelevant for digital images. I will never end my crusade on that topic * sigh *
    – cockypup
    Apr 7, 2015 at 21:54

Generally speaking retina screens are 144 ppi (72x2).

But it's not nearly as simple, here's a great guide that will tell you everything you need to know about retina and dpi in general.

  • This is not acurate. Retinas displays resolutions vary for example from, 227ppi on MacBookPro apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina to 400 ppi on Iphone 6. You are incorrectly using the idea of the x2 multiplyer.
    – Rafael
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:28
  • As I said - the number I gave is very general, but to be accurate read the entire article. iPhones for example might be able to show 400 ppi but some browser will still be detected ad 72.
    – Naty
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:31
  • So generally speaking designing for Retina displays I would have to design minimum too, 144PPI and continue to go up in PPI depending on the devices screen size and resolution ie. macbook 277ppi....?
    – Michael
    Apr 7, 2015 at 17:23
  • Not necessarily go up. On mobile devices for example, some browsers always detect 72 ppi. I checked my Iphone 6 in isthisretina.com and got 75 ppi because that's what my browser transmits in order to get mobile versions of websites.
    – Naty
    Apr 7, 2015 at 17:26
  • @Naty Thanks for the short conversion site. I'm typing in my dimension design for and example and getting my Display Density (PPI) and other info like ratio etc. Cheers guys. I hope I'm doing it right anyway.
    – Michael
    Apr 7, 2015 at 17:36

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