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So I need to prepare a PSD to print a 250 mm x 250 mm card. 300 dpi and CMYK. I am fairly new to this. This isn't my domain. I am just asked to do this.

Now the problem is, some of the source images are too small. Main image is just 800 px x 600 px, 72 dpi and 24 bit depth.

Should I re-sample the source images to 300 or not? Is there any other way? At this point, I feel that I should forget about getting the best quality but what can I do to achieve maximum possible quality?

How would the image look in the printed card if I enlarge it 5 times?

  • related and possible duplicate: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/487/… – Vincent Aug 1 '17 at 14:12
  • As an aside: one thing beginners forget or do not consider when they are put in charge of something like this for print (read: costs money) is that they can get a test proof or print from the file from a graphic shop or their printer. For this size, it may only cost 20$ and you will see something very close to the result. At least, you can get a sense of the quality problems even if you may not be able to trust the color fidelity. – Yorik Aug 1 '17 at 14:30
  • Many non-technical bosses also cannot visualize a final product, so a "dummy mockup" before they have to write a check is sometimes a good idea (assuming you aren't trying to end-run their aesthetic choices) – Yorik Aug 1 '17 at 14:32
  • @Yorik Most good print shops would actually tell the customer there are serious problems with such artwork before proceeding with the print job. It probably wouln't get past their pre-press guys. – Billy Kerr Aug 1 '17 at 14:52
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    @BillyKerr Lol I wish. All are same (3rd world country). Unless I order online from some companies from the big cities. – knight Aug 1 '17 at 18:12
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That's not a good idea. Resampling raster images always degrades image quality.

An image 800px x 600px at 300dpi will print at 2.6" x 2" optimally. You could get away with a little larger perhaps, perhaps double the size and apply some sharpening.

However if you enlarge such an image so that it's nearer 250mm on one side it will just look blurry. Furthermore, the aspect ratio doesn't match the size you are printing, so the image will get squished.

For artwork like logos and such, you would really be better recreating them as vectors. If these are photographic images, you'll need higher resolution images - and for that you will probably need the original files.

This is an example of the kind of degradation such resizing can cause.

enter image description here

Edit: check the comments below. User Jooja provides an example that demonstates what will happen to graphics like logos, when resampled - the result is probably even worse than that of a photographic image.

  • You could add a image thats been scaled up by 5 times so OP gets the idea. – joojaa Aug 1 '17 at 14:26
  • I'm getting there @joojaa - just give me some time!! LOL. – Billy Kerr Aug 1 '17 at 14:28
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    you can use this: i.stack.imgur.com/yzwdL.png source opengameart.org/content/… with do whatever you like license – joojaa Aug 1 '17 at 14:32
  • @joojaa These are good examples for graphics, I added an example for a photographic image, which will also look like crap when enlarged. – Billy Kerr Aug 1 '17 at 14:38
  • To be honest i would be a good idea to print it and then show what the print looks like. – joojaa Aug 1 '17 at 14:52

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