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FAQ | DRS - Philadelphia Large Format Color Printer

FAQ

If you want your enlarged images to appear crisp and sharp, there are a few rules you need to follow. As you enlarge any image, it will become less sharp. Therefore it is very important to start with an image that can be enlarged and remain sharp.

The best thing to do is to just simply give us a call. We will be happy to walk you through the steps you need to take to insure that your images can be enlarged and reproduced with the sharpness and clarity that you are seeking.

Sharp Resolution Guidelines:

Images should be 150 to 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the final size in the layout.

Images which include text should be 400 dpi at the final size in the layout.

Low resolution images print fuzzy, jagged and blurry

The settings used during the original “capture” of an image (ie: scanning, digital camera, etc) determine its base resolution.

Recommended minimum resolution for printing is 300 dpi; computer monitors generally have a display setting of 72 dpi. If we indicate that some of your images have low resolution, they may not look bad on your monitor but will likely print blurry or jagged.[/toggle]

Here’s how to get images with good resolution from your digital camera:

  • If you have not yet taken the digital image, adjust your camera to the highest quality setting.
  • By taking the photo on the highest setting you will maximize both the quality of the image, as well as the range of sizes at which you will be able to use it in printing projects.
  • Digital cameras with 8 megapixels or greater should be used.
  • If possible, save your image as a lossless TIF or EPS file before doing any editing to best preserve color and sharpness.

Determining the resolution and maximum usable dimensions for images to print:

  • Images should have resolution of 300 dpi at their final size in the file; 400 dpi if the image includes text.
  • Start with 1200 pixels x 1600 pixels as the dimensions for an image with no text.
  • Divide 1200 ÷ 300 = 4, and 1600 ÷ 300 = 5.33. If this image had text, you would divide by 400 instead of 300.
  • So, the maximum usable dimensions for the image are 4 x 5.33?. It will print crisp & clear at this size or smaller.

2 x 2? image @ 300 dpi = GOOD
Enlarged to 4 x 4? = 150 dpi =
BAD
17 x 13? image @ 72 dpi =
BAD
Reduced to 4 x 3? = 300 dpi =
GOOD

To determine resolution from pixel dimensions, divide pixel width and height by 300 to determine the maximum size at which you will be able to use the image, while maintaining a quality resolution of 300 dpi. Divide by 400 for images that include text.

Purchased or Protected Images and Materials

  • Please read all the “fine print” prior to purchase as it will determine price, color, file size, copyrights, resolution and quality. Images should have a resolution of 300 dpi (400 dpi if the image includes text) at their final layout size.
  • Royalty-free: Purchased images can be used as many times as you want and for almost any purpose. Royalty-free images cost less than rights-protected images, however you have no control over who else uses that image.
  • Rights-protected: Images are purchased for a specific use. Cost varies depending on how image will be used (circulation size, production medium, etc.) and cannot be used in any way other without permission. A certain level of exclusivity is usually guaranteed.

So, how much does it cost?

  • No Setup Fees
  • Unlike many print shops, we do not charge a setup fee if your image is ready for print. Our services are provided a’la carte and are generally limited  to our standard workflow: scan -> proof -> print.

Printing Fees – Popular High Quality Options

  • Canvas Starting at $15 per square foot
  • 24×18 print would cost less than $50 each
  • Textured 285 gram watercolor paper starting at $16 per square foot
  • 24×18 print would cost less than $20 each
  • Heavy weight gallery/museum grade semi-gloss and satin photo base starting at $6 per square foot
  • 24×18 print would cost less than $20 each
  • Economy Printing Options
  • High gloss poster grade and presentation matte media starting at $4 per square foot
  • 24×18 print would cost less than $14 each
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