I've read a ton of material about DPI and resolution. To be honest, I still don't get it 100%.
Digital images are not characterised by dpi, but ppi.
Unfortunately it's only 72 DPI and 1200x1200 pixels
That is ultimately irrelevant information; what his the effective resolution?
In which application do you design the mag?
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How large do you want the image to be? 1200 pixels could probably give you decent results at 5 inches (240 ppi).
This is from https://www.prepressure.com/library/paper-size/din-a4 :
Resolution needed to print an A4 size picture
To output an image properly it needs to have a certain minimum resolution. The number of pixels depend on the required output quality.
- At 300 ppi (pixels per inch) the image needs to be 2480 x 3508 pixels. This is the required resolution for quality offset printing that will be viewed from a short distance (such as books, brochures, magazines, calenders,…). For photo books it is also the optimum resolution but a somewhat lower pixel count (250 dpi) is acceptable for great looking photographs.
- At 150 ppi the image needs to be 1240 x 1754 pixels. This is the minimum resolution for newspapers or posters viewed from a fairly short distance.
In that case it seems the image would fall somewhat short of the requirements unfortunately, if I interpret it correctly.
ppi means »pixels per inch«.
Once again: In which application do you design the mag?
What is its effective resolution at the size you placed it there?
Yes ok, it does show 72 pixels per inch. Right now I'm just making some samples and working in Photoshop. For the final designs, I will switch to Illustrator. I'm not sure how I determine the effective resolution? What I have done in practice is to keep the current height of the image I posted above, and just reduced its width until it's dimensions correspond with a4 - then scaled it down to 8.267 x 11.692 inches. Not sure if that's what you meant? Sorry if I'm being dense - this whole resolution business is definitely not my thing.
Yes, I did mean Indesign - I'm still a beginner, but learn quickly - except some things like this particular issue .
So based on what you just said with the 33% and an effective resolution of 220ppi can we draw any conclusion whether it might work for the a4 print? Or is it in your opinion a grey area and I will just have to try and see how it turns out?
Indesign can display the effective resolution in the Info and the Links Panel.
220ppi is certainly not great but for me it usually is »good enough«.
With below 210ppi I would be loathe to use the image as is, but even then you might try whether upsampling (Image > Image Size) with »Preserve Details« and possibly some light sharpening (Unsharp Mask or High Pass) might be sufficient. It depends on how »good« the image is to begin with, I guess. (edited)
Below 150ppi would seem flat out »bad«.
In any case you should have the cover (ideally the whole magazine naturally) proofed before the actual printing to be able to assess the image quality »on paper«.
Ok, thanks a lot. I guess I will try with this photo for now and see. In case it doesn't turn out well I will have to see if I can persuade the author make a new and improved photo for the project Thanks again!