Why Resolution is Important

When submitting artwork for your custom apparel, stickers, banners, or canvas prints, the file format makes all the difference. Last month we explained why vector format is so important, but we only brushed the topic of why resolution is also important to the quality of your customized items.

The resolution of your submitted artwork will decide the outcome of your customized items. For a high quality, high-resolution print, you need to use high-resolution artwork. The higher the resolution, the better the quality. If your artwork is a low-resolution file, it will print low quality. The reason is that digital images are not vector format, they are raster format.

Raster images are composed of DPI, or dots per inch. Imagine if you put an image under a microscope. A high-resolution image will have a DPI of 300 or more, and show many dots of color. The more DPI, the more the ink covers the page and the dots of color will still blend together to create an image. A low-resolution image has less than 300 DPI, meaning that the dots per inch do not cover as much space, making them much more visible.


A common question we hear is “Why can’t I use an image off the web?” Finding artwork online is easy and convenient, but it does not make for good printing. This is because web pages can only display images at 72 DPI, an incredibly low-resolution. Imagine putting one of those web images under a microscope. At only 72 DPI, there is not much ink covering the page. This causes the image to look blurred when it is blown up, making any low-resolution image pulled from the web impossible to use.

When customizing your own apparel, stickers, banners, or canvases, it is important to keep in mind that high resolution means high quality. Any artwork created between 150 – 300 DPI’s is acceptable. A high resolution image can always be downsized, but a low resolution image can never be up-sized. It is important to remember that if you want a high quality print, you need a higher DPI. The higher the DPI, the better quality work can be produced.


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