Illustrator artboard at 1024 x 1024 - if I save the image as a jpg at 300 dpi, the image is sharp quality but saves at 4267 x 4267

If I save the same 1024 x 1024 artboard image at 72 dpi, the image saves at 1024 x 1024 but is very noticeably much blurrier.

Why? How can I save at the maximum quality that should be the default for a vector program like Illustrator at the artboard size?

Thanks so much for any help!

1 Answer 1


Why? Because . . .

1024px at 72 dpi will print at 1024/72 = 14.2"

4267px at 300 dpi will print at 4267/300 = 14.2"

So, you seem to have achieved what you desire.

If you were instead to output the 1024px image with the dpi set to 300 dpi, it will change nothing except the print size (hint: 1024/300 = 3.4"), since the dpi is the print output resolution, not the actual resolution of the image which is measured in pixels.

For further information you might want to read this: The Myth of DPI - although this information relates more to digital photography, it is in fact still valid for any raster image.

  • Thank you. Very helpful link & explanation. As for the quality of the image (for display on iPhone/iPad screens, not for print), there is just no way to get improved quality at the 1024px size? It looks sharp in the Illustrator artboard of 1024px but not as sharp when saved out at as a 1024 jpg or png. I think I psyched myself out though because I have a new iMac with Retina 4K display and comparing the (1024/72 = 14.2") image and the (4267/300 = 14.2") image makes for a huge difference in quality. However... on my second monitor (NOT Retina 4K) the difference in quality is hardly noticeable.
    – RanLearns
    Sep 8, 2017 at 15:52
  • 1
    @RanLearns A retina or high resolution display has more pixels crammed into a smaller space than a regular monitor. That's why you are seeing the difference. Imagine this - a non-retina monitor with 1024px across, and a photo that matches that native screen resolution (ie. the same size 1024px). The non retina display shows the image at it's native resolution. Put that same image on a retina display, and you need to zoom in to see it at the same size. Because you've zoomed in, the image is no longer at the native screen resolution, and the result is a blurry image.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 8, 2017 at 18:08

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