Document Scanning / Resolution Tips

Our basic pricing is based on receving print-ready files, and we’ve listed some guidelines below. If you need help, we offer excellent prepress services


Scanning resolution depends on the final output size of your photo/graphic as well as the printing method which will be used to reproduce your artwork. As a rule of thumb for photos

  • 300 dpi for printing press (set photos as CMYK)
  • 150 dpi (minimum)for color copies
  • 150 dpi for digital photos

Keep in mid that these resolutions are based on reproducing your artwork at 100% of the size you scanned. If your scan has to be scaled up, you must increase the dpi by the same factor. So, for example, if you plan to print a photo at 200% of its original size, you must scan it at 600 dpi instead of 300 dpi.

Document Scanning

How to Check image resolution (dpi)

Also see file types we accept, preparing files for print, and printing guidelines.

If your image is not Acrobat (pdf), Illustrator (ai, eps), InDesign (indd), or Quark Express (qxd) then it is a resolution-dependant image. Examples of resolution-dependant images are GIF, JPEG or JPG, PNG, TIFF and BMP.

Resolution, or quality, for these types of images, is measured in dpi (dots per inch).

To print properly, your GIF, JPEG or JPG, PNG, TIFF or BMP image must contain a minimum of 300 dpi.

Do not submit images you get from the Internet, as they contain only 96 dpi, and will not print well.

If you want to submit a JPG image from a digital camera, make sure you set the camera to maximum quality.

Here’s how to check image dpi in Windows:

Open a Windows explorer window, click once on the file you want to check to highlight it.

Then right click once and choose “Properties” from the menu. Click on the “Summary” tab.

In order to be print quality, the image should be at least 300 dpi. 96 dpi images you get from the Internet will not print properly. If you don’t understand this we have excellent prepress services that can help you at a reasonable cost.

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for photo manipulation, retouching, and editing. Using Photoshop, our skilled editors can produce stunning and professional graphic effects. However, Photoshop cannot be used to increase the resolution on a low resolution image. The only way to achieve this is to scan your image at a higher resolution. Remember the rule: 300 dpi at 100% and scale up accordingly.

What is lineart?

If you need to reproduce a logo in one color, for instance on a business card, you may be asked to provide it as a lineart scan. You should be able to select “Line Art” as a setting on your scanner. Line art should contain no screens (shaded areas) and should be scanned at a minimum of 1200 dpi for printing at 100% size.