enter image description hereI have been designing graphics for years. I have gone through a dozen printers. I have not found any difference in the printing of my 300 resolution images, and the 100 resolution, I changed the 300 resolution to. Changing from 300 resolution to 100 saves space and I find no difference in quality or size of printed image. Am I missing something?enter image description here

  • 4
    If you're downsampling images (and especially text in images) from 300 dpi to 100 dpi and can see no difference in the printed result, there's a very good chance you need either (new) glasses or a new printer. Jan 3, 2016 at 23:45
  • @doodaddle's: there is no need to shout your question. Also, could you add some samples of artwork you have had printed? Depending on the type of artwork, the answer to your question might differentiate immensely. You can edit your own question to add samples or change text. Thank you!
    – PieBie
    Jan 4, 2016 at 9:30
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    To avoid a basic misunderstanding: if you change the dpi/ppi value of an image file and nothing else, then the image will remain exactly the same save for that value, but that is just a few changed bytes, at most. Then, if you tell a printer to print this at a given size - A4, A5, A6, Letter, Legal, you get the idea - and if this printer isn't one of the "it has to be be 300 dpi!!!1!" types and knows what to do, then it will be printed exactly the same regardless of the dpi/ppi value you have set. Most of current comments an answers assume that you are actually changing the image content. Jan 4, 2016 at 19:26
  • What kind of printers did you use? Digital printing (small runs) or offset printing (big runs)? Also related (yes, you are missing something or there's probably details missing in your question!): graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/54995/…
    – go-junta
    Jan 4, 2016 at 20:08
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    @MichaelSchumacher I made that assumption based on the statement that “Changing from 300 resolution to 100 saves space”, which wouldn't be the case unless the image is downsampled. Jan 5, 2016 at 2:18

3 Answers 3


I turned it into a vector image, printed it, and it turned out very nice.

If you're using real vectors than there's no need to talk about resolution. Resolution only applies to raster images (eg. jpg, tif, png, etc.)

Vectors will always print well at any size!

If your software asks you about resolution when you work in vectors, it's usually because you use some kind of effects or special filters. Then in this case, it's better to keep the resolution high when possible.

Changing from 300 resolution to 100 saves space and I find no difference in quality or size of printed image. Am I missing something?

If you do use a raster image, you might see a difference in quality if you lower the resolution; that's not always obvious on inkjet/home printers or digital printers though, but very important to keep it close to the 300ppi or higher when using commercial offset printing for example.

Maybe you don't notice any difference in the quality because of the type of printer you use but there's definitely a difference in size and the output quality when lowering the resolution.

One way to lower the file size of your images is to try other file formats instead of lowering the resolution. You can't go back once you lowered the resolution and you might regret lowering the resolution of your images one day!

You don't mention which software you use, but in the case of raster images, it's still better to save in high quality JPG or EPS with JPG preview than lowering the resolution, and the file size will be much smaller than a TIFF for example.

And as ErickP suggested, buying an extra external hard disk is a great idea! If you store all your images on your computer, you might get a bad surprise one day and you'll really hate yourself for not keeping a backup of all your artwork :/

  • I am working on vector images. Right now I am working on fantasy backgrounds, with fairies I created, fantasy flowers, castles, moons, stars, and more; note card templates, tag templates, bookmark templates and so on to drag and drop png images where-ever and create their own works of art. I have a lot of new followers with them, and hundreds of likes for them. I am going to just use all vector images with my new programs. I hope this solves my problem. If not I will try something else, until I get it right! Jan 6, 2016 at 6:01
  • PS: I use photo shop and photo impact pro 13, both. Jan 6, 2016 at 6:03
  • @doodaddle's That's great! I see why you end up with a lot of images but your workflow is smart and it's probably the best way to achieve what you want. If these bookmarks are meant to be printed on their own inkjet or small laser printers, you can always drop the resolution to 200-266ppi, that's good enough. Even a bit lower could work fine but I think you might want to stay above 150ppi if possible... unless you're using some print-on-demand service that requires more.
    – go-junta
    Jan 6, 2016 at 19:11
  • Thank you go-junta, I have been working with different formats, sizes and more, and I think I have my size of images worked out to where I can use the 300 dpi and be able to list them as downloads. Taking some of the saturation out of the color works without losing quality to my images. I have to have each paper 12" x 12" under 20 megabytes for downloads. That is the limit. Mine were 24 to 26 mg. Also, working with vector images. Jan 7, 2016 at 2:19

I am not sure if this is an answer, and I am not sure there is a question or it is a self-reinforced afirmation.

In general terms, regarding the question "Am I missing something?" probably the answer could be "Yes, quality".

But quality is a very relative term. "Print" is a very broad topic, "designing graphics" is too.

I have not found any difference in print of my 300 resolution images, and the 100 resolution.

We can go 2 paths here. 1) If you are ok with the quality you provide in your specific projects using 100 ppi resolution go ahead. As the matter of fact I agree that in some "graphics" and "printed projects" it is an ok resolution.

2) But probably you are really asking what are you missing here.

The 300

300 ppi is a standarized file resolution for comercial prints on a coated paper using 150lpi output screens in sheeted lithographic or offset presses.

Do you see all the components needed? Coated paper, 150 lpi screen, sheeted paper offset press.

I agree that at naked eye depending on the design, viewing distance, size, details, fonts, etc. there is little diference using the 300ppi, 212ppi, 150ppi, but there is diference.

But all this 3 resolutions I mention are above the 150lpi barrier. 100ppi is below this barrier, meaning that you are repeaing info across diferent lines. I dont know why you do not see diference there.

Unfortunately at this moment I can't show you right now some samples that I made methodically.

Here is an explanation on how the ppi relate to the lpi. It is in spanish but the images are self explained. http://www.forosdelweb.com/f6/hablemos-resolucion-697586/index2.html

We do not know your design methodology

Probably you are using a low resolution image all the way, or printing in screen printing, or using a digital plotter, or designing for T shirts. Again, depending on your specific area of design a 100ppi resolution could be fine.

  • I will try to update this answer when I find my samples.
    – Rafael
    Jan 4, 2016 at 6:00
  • I edited my post and added pictures of my paper I designed. I told how I made it. I begin with a 300 dpi completed 12" x 12" paper. It was so large (22mg) that I could not put it in my zip folders for downloads for my site. I printed it. Then I changed it to 100 dpi and printed it. I even changed it to a vector image and printed it. I still can not see any better printing of any of them. They all print very pretty. I have a problem with others that I have to have 300 dpi for good prints. Jan 5, 2016 at 9:59
  • @doodaddle's: the 300 number is a rule of thumb, but if they look good, well, then they look good; if they look bad, you'd know, and if they look bad and that was what you wanted, then they look good!
    – Yorik
    Jan 5, 2016 at 18:30

I agree with @janus Bahs Jacquet. Perhaps you are printing your images very small but in either case there is a clear "visual" difference. The other reason for the higher resolution, is for editing/retouching purposes. You really don't want to be retouching with a 100dpi image. In general the higher resolution gives you more flexibility. Also, in todays day and age with storage being so cheap, "saving space" shouldn't be an issue.

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