DPI stands for Dots per inch and is a measure of printing quality. Printers traditionally work by producing tiny dots in a square inch to create the image. The more dots there are the better the accuracy and detail will be.

However there is a limit to the number of dots per inch that the human eye can actually see. The standard DPI used for most print jobs are usually 300 and 600 DPI. This is however dependant on the type of paper and printer used. Lighter weight papers are more prone to have colour run together which is called bleed. Therefore you would print with a lower DPI to avoid this and the potential over-saturation of paper by the ink. Laser-style printers on high-quality or glossy paper often run at a higher DPI.

One thing that it is important to bear in mind is that increasing DPI will increase a file size. It is highly recommended to save each file at the proper print DPI to maintain filing efficiency.

Many design software tools (such as Adobe’s Photoshop or InDesign) will include measurements in DPI. These measurements refer to print design and therefore is not meaningful in the context of digital projects. This is because screen resolution is measured in pixels rather than DPI.

A common misconception is that increasing the DPI can improve the quality of the image. However increasing the DPI won’t make an image sharper or improve the quality.

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