Print Quality & DPI

When you go to print an image, the printer will set the quality of the image in Dots Per Inch (DPI). Each dot literally translates to a dot of color that printer cartridge adds to the print medium. So, the higher the DPI, the more detail your printed image will have. 

The industry standard for a high quality printed image is 300dpi. However, you may need to go higher or lower depending on your needs. 150dpi can still produce a nice quality print, and it lets you get a larger print size for the same image resolution. We'll explain below. 

Setting the DPI  

Although it is technically possible to enter a DPI value into image file's metadata, it is generally overwritten or set by the printer itself or the program used to print. So, you generally do not need to worry about what the DPI setting is on the file itself. 

Understanding the relationship between resolution, DPI, and print size is necessary for getting a printed image at the size you want in the quality you want. 

DPI on BeFunky

On BeFunky, uploaded images will maintain their DPI metadata and there is no way to change it within our app. Collages will always be saved at 300dpi. Blank designs in the Designer are always 300dpi. And Design templates are mostly 300dpi, while some are 150dpi. If you need to confirm the DPI of a design, you can always see at the bottom of the window when saving a file to your device.

Please note that DPI is not saved when exporting as PNG.

Calculating Resolution, DPI, and Print Size

To get a printed image in the size and quality you want, the key thing you'll need to set is the resolution. We'll walk you through how to calculate your resolution for any printing scenario. 

Pro Tip: BeFunky's maximum resolution for images, collages, and designs is 4088 x 4088 pixels if you are a BeFunky Plus user. Free users can save at a maximum of 2500 x 2500px. When you upload an image larger than these dimensions it will be resized during the upload process.

When printing, we generally start by figuring out what we want the printed size of our image to be. For this example, let's say we need it to be 5 x 7". And we know we want a high quality print, so we are going to use 300dpi. With that information, the calculation goes like this:

  • 5" x 300dpi = 1500px
  • 7" x 300dpi = 2100px

If you only needed your printed image to be 150dpi, you could double the size with the same resolution. 

  • 10" x 150dpi = 1500px
  • 14" x 150dpi = 2100px

For quick reference, here's a chart gives you the resolution needed on common imperial print sizes, with a 300dpi print quality:

Print Size Resolution
3.5 x 5” 1050 x 1500px
4 x 6” 1200 x 1800px
5 x 7” 1500 x 2100px
6 x 10” 1800 x 3000px
8 x 10” 2400 x 3000px
8.5 x 11” 2550 x 3300px
11 x 11” 3300 x 3300px
12 x 12” 3600 x 3600px

If you're working in metric sizes, you'll still work with worldwide standard of DPI, but since that unit uses inches, you'll need to do an additional conversion step for print sizes in centimeters. Here's an example for calculating resolution on for a 20 x 30 cm printed image:

  • 20cm x 300dpi / 2.54 = 2363px
  • 30cm x 300dpi / 2.54 = 3544px

For quick reference, here's a chart gives you the resolution needed on common metric print sizes, with a 300dpi print quality:

Print Size Resolution
9 x 13cm 1063 x 1536px
10.5 x 14.8cm (A6) 1240 x 1748px
13 x 19cm 1536 x 2244px
14.8 x 21cm (A5) 1748 x 2481px
18 x 25cm 2126 x 2953px
21 x 29.7cm (A4) 2481 x 3507px
24 x 30cm 2835 x 3544px

Looking for more inspiration? Check out another tutorial:

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