I'm working with an artist who is sending me png files. According to the printer, these files are to be 825 px x 1125 px at 300dpi. Seems straightforward enough to me. However, the artist keeps sending me files at 1650 px x 2250 px at 72 dpi though I've reiterated what size I need.

Here's the question. Is there a technical reason why, as an experienced artist, he's doing this? Does he know something I don't about pixels and dpi (like maybe this is a non-issue)? Or is he just being a jerk, lazy, or not paying attention? I'm still a novice at graphic design so I want to know if there's a good technical reason why he might be doing this before I make an issue out of it. Thanks.

  • PNGs are a terrible format for printing as many Raster Image Processing solutions don't support them. Even without the DPI issue he should be sending stuff through as a TIFF or JPG in a CMYK colour mode Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 12:26
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    @Jackson Hyde, the responsable of converting a file to CMYK is for the designer. As an digital artis it is totally fine sending an RGB image and PNG is a well accepted format for this case.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 15:27
  • That's what I'm saying - the designer should be sending through CMYK images. Also, if you're working with a decent printer and you send them PNGs, they will laugh at you behind your back. And they would be right. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:31
  • @JacksonHyde the designer should send the printer CMYK print ready files yes, but an artist sending a designer RGB raster artwork is pretty normal.
    – Cai
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:41
  • The artist should know that RGB is not the colour mode to use for printed material. Not to mention the difference between a designer and an artist is purely semantic. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


Assuming you have a pixel size requirement, DPI (PPI) is mostly meaningless; All that matters is the size in pixels. The PPI would only matter if you were giving the artist a physical size requirement. See my answer to I need some help understanding DPI.

That being said, all your artist is doing is sending you his artwork at x2 scale; it's common to work at a higher resolution than needed and shouldn't cause you any issues. Just be thankful he isn't sending it at half size.

  • Actually Guy could be thankfull he is sending a 2x file so he has an original file in case you need it. He also could charge more for a 2x file if it was not asked originally. n_n
    – Rafael
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 15:29
  • Charing a client based on the pixel size of the deliverable is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:33
  • @JacksonHyde it's not ridiculous at all... for example, you pay more for larger stock images don't you?
    – Cai
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:39
  • Licensed assets should be itemised separately. In most cases the size of the deliverable should not change how much work is required. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:48

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