# Printing Clip Art Images

A pixel is worth a thousand…dots?  At least that is how it seems sometimes!  One of the many questions we get comes from companies who use our clip art images at their tradeshows, either as a banner or small posters around their booth.  The question is this:  How large can I print your clip art images?  Well, this sort of comes down to Pixels (digital snippits of color) and Dots per Inch (print blips of color).  Unfortunately, there is math involved in this whole process…

So, here it is:

Pixels = Dots per inch (x) inches.  Now, we flip around the equation a bit and we get Inches = Pixels / Dots per inch.  So, now that we have the right equation to work from, we’ll take a look at what this all means.

The image above depicts the size of printable sizes in relation to a standard sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper.  All of these “Images” as we’ll call them, are 1600 pixels (digitally), we just changed what the printed DPI would be.  I’ll put it in a bit of perspective for those of you who do not work in the “print” world very often.  75 DPI is the old definition of older monitors (think those big blocky monitors that would break something if they fell on you).    If you were to print a picture that was only 75 DPI, you could realistically put it on a sheet of 22″ x 22″ paper, but it won’t have great detail, as there are only 75 dots in a given inch (think about breaking a square inch up into dots, that’s dpi).  The next size available, 150 DPI is more commonly used for what I would call “casual printing”.  Most “printers” will recommend, or even require, 300 DPI images, especially for book covers or professional level printing (postcard faces, business cards, anything on glossy paper etc.)