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DPI vs. PPI: What On Earth is the Difference?

DPI vs. PPI: What On Earth is the Difference?

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Confused about dpi vs. ppi? You’re not alone. Check out this handy guide to learn the difference between the two.

Keyword(s): dpi vs. ppi

These days, many business owners struggle with the definition of DPI vs. PPI.

To an extent, this is not a surprise. Everyone is tossing these terms around, from iPhone salesmen to amateur photographers. To add to the confusion, DPI and PPI are often used interchangeably.

Is DPI the same as PPI? The short answer is no. Depending on your project and the medium you’re using, one of these terms should be far more interesting to you.

Which one of these two measurements should you focus on? Read on to find out!

PPI

As you may know, PPI stands for pixels per inch. The more pixels per inch an image has, the sharper it will appear.

In other words, PPI is a measure of image quality. Resizing the image will change the size of each pixel, but not the actual number of pixels. You can also use photo softwareto resample an image, which does change the number of pixels.

The Web Standard

PPI is most often associated with web design. The current web standard for images is 72 pixels per inch. As long as the image fully occupies the frame, it won’t appear distorted or pixelated.

PPI also has a big impact on the text. As is the case with images, a higher number of pixels will make the text appear sharper. Often, high-PPI text will be easier to read than a low-PPI text.

Now, let’s assume you want to print your images. In this case, you wouldn’t use PPI, as it won’t help you with print specifications. That’s where DPI comes in.

DPI

DPI stands for dots per inch. Most of the time, we use this term to measure printing quality and resolution.

See, each printed image consists of thousands of dots that are overlaid with a layer of ink. DPI tells us how many printed dots each inch contains. High-DPI images will look sharper and smoother.

The Print Standard

On the screen, DPI is fairly irrelevant. The reason is simple: our monitors don’t render images in dots. That’s why most of us can’t tell the difference between a 100-DPI image and a 300-DPI one.

That said, DPI can matter for images used on different platforms. For example, you may use the same image for your company’s website and your business cards. If so, you’ll want that image to have a high DPI.

Still, the real importance of DPI is only obvious in printing. Every printer will specify an optimum resolution for photos. Most printers use the 300 DPI resolution.

Whenever you’re printing something, you should keep these specifications in mind. If your project doesn’t meet them, the image is likely to be shrunk or enlarged. Needless to say, this can affect the quality of the final product.

DPI vs. PPI: Conclusion

All in all, choosing between using DPI and PPI is simple enough. If you’re working on digital applications, focus on PPI. If you’re preparing your project for print, check your DPI specifications.

Want to know more about the differences between DPI vs. PPI? Interested in the art of creating a modern business card? You may want to take a look at our blog!