Why is 300 DPI Good

Why is 300 DPI Good for Printing: The Key To Perfect Prints

Designing your packaging is a challenging task. You must be creative enough to think of something unique that will grab people's attention. Also, you must find an adequate printing method to help you turn your ideas into reality. Yet, one of the aspects that entrepreneurs mostly underestimate is the quality of the design file. As a rule of thumb, the quality of the design file should be at least 300 DPI. The question you probably have now is - why is 300 DPI good for printing? 

In this article, we will explain what DPI is, why 300 DPI is essential for packaging design, and how to improve the DPI of your images. Let's go! 


What is DPI and Why is It Important?


Before we explain why 300 DPI is good, we have to define DPI. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, defining any image's sharpness. Higher DPI improves the image's resolution, ensuring better packaging print quality. All entrepreneurs should know that the DPI of an image can be charged with different tools. That means you can improve the quality of your image and ensure a more unique package design. 


what is 300 DPI


Images with 300 DPI are an industry standard for packaging designs. Let's imagine you want to print an 8 x 10-inch photo on your package. That means you will get an image that contains 2400 x 3000 pixels. Even the tiniest details will be clear with the quality of the image. You now got an answer to "why is 300 DPI good".  

The packaging design directly influences the purchasing decisions of people. Studies confirm that nearly 50% of people share the image of packaging that comes with unique prints and interesting prints. That means you can get free word-of-mouth marketing by making your packaging different. That certainly is one of the reasons why DPI is important. 


Difference Between DPI and PPI

Certain tools you can use to improve the quality of the image will highlight the acronym PPI as well. Some people think DPI and PPI are exactly the same, which is not quite correct. PPI stands for Pixels per Inch. That insight defines the quality of an image before it gets printed on the package. Those insights are also expressed in the number of pixels that 1 inch of the image contains. DPI, on the other hand, is a measurement used to define the number of pixels of the design after print. 

While these two insights do define different things, they are strongly connected. You won't manage to find an image with a low PPI yet a high DPI. Both of them must be at the highest level to get the best possible results. 

difference between DPI and PPI


Lower DPI Resolutions 

As we said, the quality of the image directly depends on the DPI. That is why you need to know that lower DPI resolutions exist. Images with lower DPI resolution can be used for other purposes, but they are not good enough for package prints and designs. They are:

  • Low Resolution: Images that come with 72 DPI have the lowest quality. They can be used for web images or designs of different apps. However, that's their only purpose. If you use them for prints, the quality would be extremely low. Let's use examples to make things clear. If you want to print a 10x8 inch big photo with this resolution, you will get a print of 720 x 576 pixels in total. That is not enough for a clear print; you can be sure it will quite grainy. 
  • Medium Resolution: Images with the medium resolution are not bad but not good enough for packaging prints. These images will look great on computer or laptop monitors. But, if you plan to produce prints, you will notice that specific details do not have a high level of sharpness and clarity. Those two features are crucial for the quality of the print! An 8x10 inch photo with this DPI resolution will have 1200 x 1500 pixels in total, which is not enough for a quality print. 


DPI resolutions


Should I Go Over 300 DPI?

No, 300 DPI resolution is not the highest one! That's why many entrepreneurs have a common question - "why is 300 good if there are images with better DPI resolution?". Images with 600, 1000, and even 2400 DPI do exist. However, you won't notice a huge difference.  

Based on our experience, we have concluded that 300 DPI is the most suitable option for commercial materials such as packaging prints. For example, 600 DPI images require more time, energy, and INK. The printers most people use are not going to be good enough to make all the details sharp in that case. 


How To Calculate a DPI of an Image?


Calculating the DPI of the image you plan to print and put on your package isn't easy. There are three steps you need to take to get the appropriate results. They are:

  • Explore The Resolution and Pixel Dimensions: This insight defines the number of details an image contains. As we said, the higher the DPI guarantees the better resolution. For instance, if the pixel dimension is 1000 x 1000, your image will have 1 million pixels in total! 


calculating the DPI of the image


  • Use The Maths: Calculating DPI is possible by analyzing the PPI of the image. But, the way you do it directly depends on the type of image you plan to print. For example, for the color images, the math formula is pretty easy - PPI divided by 2.5 tells gives the DPI result. On the other hand, if you use black-and-white images, then the formula is a bit different - PPI divided by 3 gives the DPI result. We can all agree it is nothing complex! 


Calculate the DPI of the image


  • Determine the Maximum Image Size: To get the best results, you will need to calculate the maximum image size you can use for the given DPI. In this case, you will have to divide both pixel dimensions by DPI. Let's use a 2000 x 1500 image as an example. Calculating the maximum size would look like this - 2000 / 300 = 6 ⅔ and 1500 / 300 = 5. In other words, you can use an image that is 6 inches wide and 5 inches tall and keep the same sharpness.


6 Ways to Change The DPI of an Image


You no longer have to ask anyone "why is 300 dpi good?". We have clearly explained it is the best resolution for package printing. But, as we said, the DPI of the image can change, and many adequate tools can help you do that smoothly. Let's find out those details.


Adobe Photoshop 

Photoshop is one of the favorite tools of many designers. It is easy and valuable. Changing DPI with Photoshop is pretty simple. You need to go to the image and then click on Image Size. A new window will appear where the users have to uncheck Resample Image. Doing that will ensure that your image is not upscaled. 

After that, go to resolution and set up the width, height, and resolution expressed in pixels or inches. Here you should type 300. Keep in mind the quality of the image will drop if its size is too small. Use the calculations we talked about previously.  



Adobe Illustrator

So how to change DPI in Illustrator? The entire process is once again pretty simple. When you enter the program, go to Effect > Document Raster Effects Settings. There you have 2 options in front of you. You can either manually change the DPI (in this case, 300) r you can pick a custom setting (355 DPI). After that, simply convert the image with new changes to PDF, and that's it! 




Canva may be (the premium version) the fastest tool for a task like this. After you enter the program, click "Create a Design" and set up the dimension to 300 DPI. After that, all you will have to do is to upload the image you plan to print. You can add elements or change certain designs in case you think that's necessary. Download the image and share it with the packaging manufacturers. 




You once again need to be sure that image is not too small. The quality of the image will drop after you set up new resolution parameters. Anyway, Gimp is also very simple. Go to Image > Print Size. There you will see X and Y Resolution. Set up X Resolution to 300, and the Y resolution option will automatically change. Believe it or not, that's all. 



Free Online Tools

If you do not want to use the premium versions of the photo editing tools above, consider using some free alternatives. Windows users can use tools like XnConvert, FastStone Photo Resizer, Batch Convert, etc. These apps are cool but lack some features compared to paid DPI-changing programs. 


Preview Options on macOS

MacOs owners won't have to use any tools at all. They should simply open the image they plan to print in preview mode. After that, go to Tools > Adjust size. Uncheck the Resample image option so that the number of pixels remains the same after the adjustments. Go to resolution, set it to pixels or inches, and type 300 DPI. As you can see, the process is identical to one in Photoshop. 


How To Collaborate with Packaging Manufacturers


We are sure that you no longer wonder “why is 300 dpi good”. But, we do not neglect it; the entire process, from picking the right image to printing, is challenging. That's why we want to provide you with tips on which information Arka or any other manufacturer will need. Here are the steps that you should take:

  • Provide logo and all the images: They should all be at least 300 DPI.
  • Provide dielines: Manufacturers need a flat representation of the end product. That way, they will get an idea of how to cut and crease the cardboard. 
  • Mention the bleed: Bleed explains the design potion created to go outside the boundaries intended for the packaging. This way, the manufacturers will ensure there is a slight deviation from the cut, which guarantees that the edges of the packaging design won't show through. 


Final Thoughts 


In this article we answered many questions, such as "why is DPI 300 good", how to calculate DPI, how to change DPI, etc. We are sure you now understand that preparing the image for packaging print can be challenging. But things will be much easier with good organization and professional co-workers like Arka! We offer eco-friendly and sustainable packaging options: check out our custom mailer boxes or custom shipper boxes that help improve unboxing experience. If you need help, contact us! 

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