Image Advice

October 2008
by Lisa Woods and Lari Bishop

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Image Advice

by Lisa Woods and Lari Bishop

Images can add a lot to books and other printed material. But if you want to jazz up your pages with graphics (figures, drawings, cartoons, illustrations, etc.) and you’re printing professionally, you’ll need these tips.


All images destined for print must be high resolution, which is to say 300 pixels per inch (ppi, sometimes also called dpi) or greater. Sometimes people try to fake the size of an image, but an image is not high resolution if it was originally low resolution and then resized to force the resolution to 300 ppi, or if the resolution was simply changed. These techniques will not improve the quality of the image—and may make it worse. If you print a low-resolution image, the difference will show.

If you own images that exist only in hard copy and you plan to scan them, make sure that they are scanned in at 1200 dpi. If you are unsure of your scanning capabilities, have the scanning professionally done.

File Formats

The most widely accepted kinds of digital image files are:

.PSD (Adobe Photoshop native file)



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