TAC Support Section:

Image Resolution and File Type Guide


High Resolution
If you are using the photos in a brochure or literature that is to be printed on a printing press, then you need high resolution images. Most press applications require images at 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution at the size it will appear in the printed piece (i.e. 4"x5" at 300 dpi).

Medium Resolution
If you are using the photos on documents that will be printed on a inkjet or laser printer, then you need medium resolution images. We recommend using approximately 150 dpi for printer use (i.e. 4"x5" at 150 dpi).

Low Resolution
If you are using your photos on the web, then you only need low resolution images. All images on the web are shown at 72 dpi. Because of the lower resolution images are often measured by pixels when sizing 72 dpi images (i.e. a 4"x5" image at 72 dpi is 288x360 pixels). As a size comparison, a website is typically 600-800 pixels wide. So a photo that is half the width of a web page is approximately 300-400 pixels wide.

You can resize a high or medium resolution image to a lower resolution or size (i.e. can reduce a 300 dpi photo to 150 dpi), but you cannot increase the resolution or size from low to high (i.e. can not increase a 150 dpi photo to 300 dpi). However, you can increase the resolution by reducing the size. For instance a 4"x5" photo at 150 dpi, can be changed to a 2"x2.5" at 300 dpi (mathematically it works out to the same number of pixels).

Also note that the resolution your monitor is set to will effect the size an image appears on your screen.

File Types

If you are using the photos in a brochure or literature that is to be printed on a printing press, then you probably want TIFF or EPS images. Both file types are common in the printing industry. Ask your printer or graphic artist which format they prefer.

Probably the most universally accepted format for almost any application are JPEG and GIF. Most computers and software can open these file types. JPEG images are better for photos or graphics with fine screen/shaded areas. JPEG images have a quality setting which is applied when saved. High-quality settings look better but are larger file size. A lower quality setting can still look pretty good and have a smaller file size (optimized for web). The GIF file format is probably the most popular file type on the Internet. A GIF file offers a low file size for faster downloading on the web. GIF files are often used for graphics on the web, while it may be better to use JPEG for photos on the web.

PSD (Photoshop)
If we are providing your photos silhouetted, we can provide your image as Photoshop files retaining layers, clipping paths and drop shadow effects.

Note: Generally we supply images in RGB format, but we can supply in CMYK if desired (used when going to press).

TAC • 1-800-235-6865 • Tel (716) 874-5155 • Fax (716) 874-7283