The article explores whether the current digital scrapping standard of 300 ppi (dpi) is actually the best resolution for digital scrapbookers or whether it is based on a false premise and we should really be scrapping at 200 dpi. Given that it is only in the last year to eighteen months or so that the digital scrapbooking world has informally accepted 300 dpi as its standard resolution this is a somewhat controversial issue.
So before you read any further on this article, I recommend that you click over to Nichole’s article and wrap your head around what she has to say.
This was not a debate that I was aware of. I just assumed that it was an accepted thing that the best printed out layouts were produced at 300 dpi. But according to Nichole there is some vigorous debate going on amongst industry professionals about which is really the best choice.
Seeing is Believing
So I thought ‘seeing is believing’, why not do my own test and and prove it to myself. I selected one of my layouts and resized it to 8×8 for printing on my HP B1000 Inkjet Printer and printed it at a resolution of 300 dpi. Then I changed the resolution to 200 dpi and printed another copy on the same quality paper at the same ‘best’ print setting. Unfortunately I can’t show you an illustration of the two comparisons because all images on the web are sized at 72 dpi so they’d both look identical.
And at first glance they both did look identical. I waited until the following morning so I could view them in the daylight, rather than artificial light. And I found there was a very slight variation in quality. It was most noticable in the text, especially where the text was very small, such as on the printing of the magazine page.
The text on the 200 dpi print out was clearer than on the 300 dpi print out!
And the quality of the graphics in the layout appeared identical.
Now I should point out that I have never printed out any of my layouts using commercial printing firms. So I have no idea what type of printers they use and whether they would experience the same results as I experienced on my little desktop ink jet. Perhaps the result would be very different and 300 dpi would be a better quality result because their commercial printers don’t over saturate the ink the same way that ink jets have a tendency to do.
So it seems to me that this is something that really does need to be sorted. Are we choking our computers with unnecessarily large files that we don’t really need? If there is no difference in quality from commercial printing firms when printing 200dpi layouts then it would appear the answer is Yes. Many of the readers of Scraps of Mind are digital scrapbooking designers. Do you have a view on this? I’d be really keen to hear it.
Whatever the outcome, what this has demonstrated to me on a personal level is that I am better off to print my layouts at 200 dpi rather than 300 dpi and the added bonus is that I will not be using as much ink on each printout.
Why not take the test yourself and see what you think. I’d love to hear what your results are and your views on this topic. And I’m sure, so would Nichole at DSD Professionals.
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