I had an interesting conversation with a web designer I partner with as he was creating my website. As a print designer, the graphics I use in my designs must have a much higher resolution (dots per inch) than he needs for the websites he creates. When clients provide graphics to me at web resolution, I “technically” can convert them to print resolution at times but here’s the issue: whether they will look good in print depends not only on the resolution, but the size. In other words, a physically large image with a lower resolution may still be usable for print (depending on the use) but a tiny image at a low resolution will most likely not make the cut.
For example, a client recently provided a photo with 72 dpi (web resolution) that was 22.222” x 16.597”. Converting the photo to print resolution (300 dpi), the image was now 5.333” x 3.983” which was perfectly usable for most small marketing projects (business cards, door hangers, brochures, postcards, etc.). I would not, however, be able to use the photo successfully on large signs or a billboard. Obviously, the better the image, the better the output.
Before you meet with a Graphic Designer, keep the following in mind for the best results:
Have a general idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. What are your goals? Who is your audience? What is your message?
On my business card, it says, “Concept – Create – Collaborate”. Reflecting someone in print is a collaborative effort. Like many other things, you get out of it what you put into it. To have the most successful experience with a Graphic Designer, be open to suggestions, provide the information requested and let your designer use her training, talent and imagination to create magic for you.