Printing high-quality artwork is critical to ensuring a superb result.
If you've got bitmap artwork, such as a photo that's less than 300DPI, it may not print correctly. This short article will tell you how to increase the size without sacrificing quality.
Important: this method works to approximately double the size of your bitmap artwork without losing quality. If you need more than that, the best option is to source a new image.
What happens when you scale up a bitmap?
Bitmaps are a collection of thousands of tiny colored squares, known as pixels. You need about 300 pixels per inch (DPI) to make it look high-resolution to the human eye.
If you scale up your bitmap artwork, you are increasing the size of these pixels. If you do this too much and the DPI falls below 300 per inch, which causes problems.
A good rule is "You get out what you put in." The better the quality of the artwork, the higher quality your sticker or label will print.
For example, suppose you send or receive an image on Whatsapp. Whatsapp will reduce your photo quality by compressing it to make it smaller; this will not be suitable for printing on a large scale.
How can you scale without losing quality?
The technique for scaling artwork by 2x without losing much quality is to add more pixels. You can use a tool that splits each pixel into four and uses clever algorithms to judge the new pixels' exact color. Very smart.
How do you do this?
Here are a few different ways, each explained below:
- Use resizing.app. Upload your image, set parameters such as height, width, and click start. Seconds later, your file is ready for download. And it's free!
- Use Adobe Photoshop. Not recommended for beginners. It has a tool called 'Perfect Resize.' To use it, open the image you want to resize and click File, Automate, and select Perfect Resize. A new window will open where you can either choose preset resizing templates or enter your dimensions. Once chosen, click File, Apply.
- Use GIMP. GIMP is an open-source (& therefore free) tool for editing images. To resize a photo, open it in GIMP, go to image > scale & enter your desired dimensions. Under the quality section, choose 'Sinc as Interpolation' and then click scale.