Understanding DPI and How it Affects Printing Quality

There are so many factors that go into determining printing quality that it can be hard to figure out what exactly you are looking for.

Does the brand of ink, like Canon printer ink, make enough of a difference to be worth the difference in pricing? Or how about PPI, or pixels per inch, how much does that affect the resulting copy?

You should take the time to find the answers to these questions before going to your printing professional so that you know what quality level you really need for the job and which extras are worth the price. DPI, or dots per inch, is one aspect that has a large effect on the quality of print being produced.

Dots per Inch
The number of dots placed on the paper by the printer is a better judge of print quality than the number of pixels printed because printers require multiple dots to create a single pixel, especially when printing high resolution photographs.

If you are looking to print words and graphs then the DPI does not need to be all that high and paying extra for high resolution would be a waste. However, if your printing project includes photographs then it may be worth the cost.

Not all types of printers are created equal when it comes to DPI. An older model dot matrix printer, one that applies ink to a page via an ink ribbon, is only capable of 60 to 90 DPI, regardless of whether they use a high end ink or not. The more common inkjet printers spray ink on the page and can produce 600 to 900 DPI. Top of the line laser printers use an electrostatic charge to apply ink to the page and this allows them to achieve as many as 1,800 dots per inch, a very high resolution indeed.

What Quality Level Do You Need
Take a look at the project you intend to have printed and try to determine the level print quality you actually need. A report consisting mainly of data and words may not need to be done by a professional at all because the printer you have on hand may offer you enough resolution to do the job well.

If you want to print graphs and barcodes (PDF) you may want a higher print quality but you still will not need the highest resolution. A project that contains digital photographs or other intricate graphics may require you to make a trip to a professional printer to ensure that the print quality is high enough to make the pictures clear – and attractive.

Printing projects vary a great deal in the quality of print required to make them effective.

If you are aware of the factors that go into creating a high quality print then you will be able to determine just which of these factors are worth the cost for your specific project. Will knowing whether using Canon printer ink will cause your printing to shine improve your project? Perhaps, but understanding DPI and its importance to the quality of printing will do more to ensure that you get the best and most cost effective print job for the project at hand.

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