How many pixels per inch do I need?
Optimal PPI depends entirely on the size and purpose of your image. As a rule of thumb, if you’re displaying an image on a website, you’ll need a far lower PPI resolution level than if you’re printing off a photo.
Here are a few rough PPI measures you can use for your project.
High-res pixels per inch.
High-res displays can handle more PPI on screen than the commonly held 72 PPI standard. If you’re displaying images or film on a large HD monitor, you can afford a far higher PPI level than your average laptop.
- A high pixel density can range between 100-140 PPI
- A very high pixel density starts off at 140 PPI
Pixels per inch for web.
Web images are often standardised at 72 PPI. Indeed, Adobe Photoshop optimises images at this level for online use.
- The reason is that while vibrant imagery is often key to creating an engaging website or online presence, clarity, richness and detail needs to be balanced with load times.
- The web-optimised 72 PPI level is therefore a good option, as it will allow for both a faster load time and a generally clear and eye-catching appearance.
However, if you’re looking to display higher resolution images for an online art exhibition or digital portfolio, you can go higher.
Just don’t forget to weigh this up against loading times, and bear in mind the resolution capabilities of your display equipment.
Pixels per inch for projections.
Offices, schools and universities make regular use of projections to display large images and presentations. For this, a balanced 102 PPI is often a solid choice.
Pixels per inch for print.
Whether we’re talking nature photography for a glossy magazine, or a direct mail brochure you’ve designed, you’ll need higher pixel density to do the job properly when it comes to the printed page.
- 300 PPI is a go-to option for those looking to produce great print material. This corresponds to the 300 DPI normally required for a high-quality finish from the printer.
- However, you could go lower for non-commercial use, or for smaller designs. 180 PPI and 240 PPI are common choices.