Understanding photo quality – factors to consider when printing

Adding images into your brochure or other printed material can be a great way of showcasing your products or services, however it’s only useful if the photo is high quality. Using poor quality photos can make a huge impact and if it isn’t visually appealing could result in your business appearing less professional than you’d like. 

There are a few different factors to consider when using images for printing, these include: 

  • Resolution.
  • Colour depth.
  • File type. 

Let’s take a look at these three factors in more detail:


Image resolution has a big influence on how the photo will be printed and is a critical step toward creating a professional print job. It refers to the number of pixels in an image and is measured by DPI, or pixels per inch. This means the higher the resolution, the more detailed, clearer and better quality the image will be when it is printed. 

The images on your computer screen are only 72 DPI, which is fine for online content, however it is not adequate for printing a professional brochure or flyer. 

If you’re working with the team at Burleigh Print & Design with a printing project, we recommend a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. An image that is 300 DPI will be sharper, even when it is printed at larger sizes. You will see that when an image is printed with a DPI of lower than 300, the image may appear pixelated or blurry. 


When we talk about colour depth, we’re talking about the number of colours that can be shown on an image. Colour depth is measured in bits, each bit an additional colour to be displayed. Of course, the higher the colour depth, the more accurate the colours will be when it is printed. 

At Burleigh Print we use both 4 colour and 11 colour printing processes. You’ll find that most photos have enough colour to print successfully, however if there isn’t enough depth the image will appear washed out and dull. 


Paying attention to the file type is also another important factor to determine the quality of an image for printing. There are several different file types available, and they are suited to different uses. 

At Burleigh Print we recommend TIFF files as the best option for printing as it preserves the quality of the image, however JPEG files are also good and are a common choice for printing too.


Another important consideration is the size at which you want the photo to print. When you’re printing larger images, the image will have to be of high enough quality to remain sharp and clear. If images are very small, you may be able to get away with using smaller sized images. 

Photo printing at Burleigh Print & Design

At Burleigh Print & Design on the Gold Coast we use both 4-colour digital production machines and large format fine art printers. We’ll work with you to give you the best advice and a high quality finished product. 

Fine art and giclee printing:

We’re well known for our beautiful fine art and giclee printing, using our quality Canon PROGRAF pigment inks on the finest archival materials. The 11-colour ink process is far superior to digital 4 colour CMYK printing and produces a superior finished product. 

If you’d like more information on the wide range of printing services for your next project with Burleigh Print & Design, connect with us online or call our studio on 07 55 200 655.

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