How to Size Your Images Correctly

UPDATE: It doesn’t matter now if you resize your images for print as we are more than happy to do that for you and this will also ensure you’re getting the highest quality resize/result for your images.

One of the biggest challenges or problems that we see with files that are submitted for printing are that they are not sized or in the correct dimensions for the size that is ordered correctly either the actual size of the image is too small or too big or the resolution is not correct.

Here’s a few instructions to help you get it right first time every time.

Go to IMAGE > IMAGE SIZE (In Photoshop or Elements or whatever program you’re using) If it’s not the exact same menu there will be something similar.

BUT, it is MOST important that your images are the correct RATIO for print. See below image. The only trick is to make sure that you have Unchecked ‘Resample Image’ (that means resize) and you don’t want to resize your image, you just want to see what dimensions that it will work with.

So this is where you can have some fun and just now enter whatever Width (24 as this example) or Height (36 as this example) that you want to check. If the dimensions match for the size you want to order that’s great and it means that your image does not need to be cropped to work.

If it does not match as example if you wanted a 24 x 36″ Print but you checked in here (IMAGE > IMAGE SIZE) menu and found that your image was actually 24.5″ x 36″ instead. All this means is that we have to crop 0.5″ off. Ideally you would crop it to the correct size that way you know exactly what has to be cropped and what can stay! Or if you want to trust us to do it that’s fine and we can email you a proof before printing so you can see what will be cropped etc.

Image Size Menu explained:

So for this image you can see that the size is set to 30 Inches by 30 Inches (Square) at 300 Pixels per Inch.

If 30 x 30″ was the finished size this would be perfect. But if the client wanted it to be 24 x 24″ or 12 x 12″ then it would be incorrect.

So what do you do or how do you make your image smaller? or Larger?

Let’s try a smaller one first. Here’s how it should look for a 12 x 12″ Image. After the settings are like this just click “OK” to apply them.

This will allow Photoshop to work it’s magic and resample the image. You don’t have to worry it will do a wonderful job and most importantly reduce the size of the file! That makes all of us happy!

You might be thinking or wondering what resolutions do I need to provide my images.

300dpi is great for all photographic prints at the FINISHED SIZE e.g. if it’s a 12 x 18″ that size and 300dpi. 300dpi works great for Canvas prints but 240dpi is fine too or even 210dpi is fine too. For a fine-art canvas I’d personally stick to 300dpi or 240dpi.

Now to enlarge your image your settings should look something like this:

You can see the size is set to 60 x 60″ the Finished size with 300dpi (PPI) as the Resolution and we’ve used Bicubic Smoother as the Interpolation method (that’s fancy talk for the way that Photoshop will interpret the data and how it will work out what new pixels to add to your image to make it look awesome!) – Don’t worry Photoshop does a good job at this.

If you want a better/best job you will want specialist enlarging software like Genuine Fractals ‘Perfect Resize Pro’ OR ‘PhotoZoom Pro‘ but normally Photoshop will be fine for enlarging up 200-300% But if you’re unsure or you don’t have the software leave it to us as we are happy to take care of this! 🙂 Just get your IMAGE SIZE RATIO correct and and give us the biggest file you have (most pixels) and we’ll be laughing!


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