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What Is The Best Resolution For Large Format Printing?

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Large format printing is a type of production that uses rollers, inks, and presses to create large printed images. Printing in a large format is not an easy task. The printer’s resolution needs to be 100% perfect. Otherwise, it will affect how clear and crisp the image comes out on paper. Many factors go into choosing what resolution is best for your projects.

Want to know the best resolution for large format printing? Is it a good idea to choose 300 dpi or 600 dpi? What about 1200 dpi? The answer is that there are many factors and tradeoffs in selecting a suitable resolution. This blog post is about some of these factors to understand better which resolution would work best for your project.

What type of equipment do you need to produce high-quality prints? What kind of paper works best for large format printing? These are all questions I will answer today. So, without wasting any further time, let’s get in.

Resolution and large format printing

Resolution means how many pixels per inch (PPI) you can fit onto a page. The higher your PPI, the sharper and more detailed an image will be. The correlation between large format printing and resolution size is that the higher the resolution, the higher the print quality. However, other factors, such as ink quality and printer type, also affect print quality.

Importance of High Resolution for Large Format Printing

High-resolution printing makes it easier to print more extensive, more detailed images. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re looking to make a poster of your favorite album cover or map of the world as seen from space then you’ll need high resolution. Choosing a proper resolution size for your printing is extremely necessary. This is because of the following reasons:

  • You can get a more detailed and high-quality print.
  • Images are easier to see when printed in higher resolutions. This is because the individual pixels are smaller and easier to see.
  • Images are more precise and smoother. What does this mean? When an image is printed in low resolution, the individual pixels that make up the entire picture become large blocks of color. This can sometimes be seen as pixelation or imperfections on the print. When printing images in higher resolutions, these issues disappear because each pixel makes a minor difference to the overall picture.

Resolution Available for Large-Scale Printing

Large format printers usually have a maximum size of 20×20 inches. Accordingly, there are many choices for the resolution size to apply for the different resolutions that come in different sizes.

There are many, but there is a specific size that stands out as being the standard. This usually ranges from 300 dpi to 6000 dpi. This means the best resolution for large-scale printing ranges from 300 dpi to 6000 dpi. Anything below this level is not appropriate for large-scale print.

The following section will discuss which resolution you can specifically use for different types of large printing work.

300 dpi

Remarkable for images of family pets, documents. 300 dpi resolution can produce a high-quality image that is best for viewing in close range.

400 dpi

Excellent if you want to print an album cover or map and close up, but can also work for smaller prints like family photos. Moreover, this type of printer has a long life span–meaning it’s best suited to large format printing (including large banners, posters).

600 dpi

Perfect for high-quality photos on paper (ex. magazine). The downside is that it takes a longer time for printing images due to the superior quality–which means there’s more room for errors. However, printers using this resolution level have an excellent long life span and can produce sharp prints up close or from afar.

800 dpi

Get this one if you want to print in high resolution and it can produce a sharper image than 600 dpi. The downside is that the best printers for this type are expensive–making them best suited to commercial printing jobs (which means they may not be best for home use).

1200 or higher

Brilliant for high-quality images in books, magazines, and brochures. This type of printer can produce the best quality results with fine detail–making them best suited to professional printing jobs (which becomes less economical when using a toner).

1440 dpi

Great, if you want to print posters that will be viewed at close range from afar. This is because the best printers for this type are more expensive–making them best suited to commercial printing jobs (which means they may not be best for home use).

2880 dpi

Best if you want to print a large banner with high quality. Moreover, those who need to read the text in the image from afar should use this resolution size. This type of printer can produce the best quality results with fine detail–making them best suited to professional use.

3600 dpi

Suitable, if you want to print a 36″ wide poster that is viewed from across the room. This type of printer can produce stunning images and has the most extended lifespan.

4000 or higher

Get yourself this reso level, if you’re printing in large formats, such as signs and banners, which means it can produce high-quality results with fine detail. Therefore they are best suited for commercial laser printers. However, this type of printer is best suited to retail jobs and can be expensive.

4800 or higher

A good option for high-quality images in books, magazines, and brochures (making it best suited for professional printing). This type of printer can produce the optimum quality results with fine detail, making them best suited to professional printers.

6000 dpi

Perfect choice for high-quality photos on paper (ex. magazines). This type of printer has an excellent long life span and can produce sharp prints up close or from afar–making it best suited to commercial printing jobs.

Factors Affecting the Resolution of the Large Print

There are various factors upon which the resolution of large-scale prints depends. If you want your print copy to be of higher quality then you must be aware of these factors.

Image to be printed

The resolution size depends on the type of print or image you are looking for. For example, if you wish to print a picture of your pet or document, 300 dpi would be the best.

If you are looking for an album cover or map then 400 dpi would be perfect. Moreover, your expectations with the outcome of the image matter. If you want to print a detailed picture, you will have to use a higher resolution.

Viewing distance

The viewing distance also comes into play when considering the resolution. This is because the best resolution size for a small picture differs from the best size for large images. For example, if you are willing to print a map and look at it from just two meters away then you might not need as high of a resolution size.

However, if you are printing something like an album cover or poster that people will view closer up, the best resolution size is best to be 400 dpi.

Ink quality

Ink quality has to do with the best resolution in large-scale printing. High-quality ink can give you a higher print quality and overall sharper image than cheap ink.

The best kind of printer is one that has both high-quality paper and sound, reliable printing equipment–including printers like HP Designjet Z2100 or Canon’s iPF8000 Mark II (these are best for those looking to print images on paper). You can enhance the ink quality by using a better printer.

Equipment quality

You should make sure you have the right equipment. Well, it’s best to make sure your printer can print in high resolution so that you can produce a quality image.

What kind of printer would be suitable for large format printing? The answer: an inkjet or laser printer. These types are great at producing clear and sharp images. Moreover, these printers can last a long time and are best suited to printing images.

Paper quality

What kind of paper works best for large format printing? It’s best to use high-quality cardstock. Thick papers are also good options because they don’t get ruined when wet, and it absorbs the inks better than thinner ones.

However, if you want to use a toner printer, the best paper to go with is usually bright white and matte. In addition, Photographic papers are a great choice. They’re high in quality, and they work well with images that have text, such as signs or banners.

Viewing conditions

The best resolution for large print also depends on the viewing conditions. For example, if the viewing condition is such that the picture will be viewed at close range, it’s good to have a higher resolution. Viewing conditions may also depend on where the print will be seen–if it’s in ample space, then you can go with lower resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at the discussion below, to gain greater knowledge on large format printing.

How do I prepare a large format for printing?

Large format printing requires specific preparations. If you’re using paper, then make sure it’s 100% cotton and at least 24lbs (any less will result in a low-quality print). You’ll also need to use the best quality of ink–which is usually pigmented black or dye-based yellow. In addition, you must make sure that your work is the best quality possible and is at least 300 dpi.

What are some good practices for large format printing?

Always use a builder sheet to make sure your prints stay as flat and smooth as possible. You’ll want it to be at least 25 mils or thicker. Furthermore, you have to use high-quality paper, which will give you the best results.

Moreover, you can make use of a substrate such as canvas, matte board, or vinyl to ensure your prints are protected from dust and moisture.

Which camera to use for large prints?

The market is full of many different types of cameras that can be used for large prints. Henceforth choosing the best among the long list of cameras, must be a difficult task. Overall, Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera is a great option for large prints. Apart from this, there are many other cameras for large prints on the market.

How can I tell if the resolution is best for my large-scale printing?

You’ll need to test out what type of printer you’re using with various kinds of paper (to see which one best suits your needs). You’ll also need to test out multiple resolutions. The best resolution for large-scale printing is usually 1440 dpi or higher, resulting in a high-quality image.

What is the equipment required for large format printing?

Although many instruments and equipment can be used for effective printing, here are 3 equipment that you should have:

  • The best type of printer: 1200, 1440, 2880 (most printers)
  • Best paper: 100% cotton and at least 24lbs, the best quality of ink
  • Best resolution: (300- 1440 dpi) or higher (most printers)

What resolution do I need for a 24×36 print?

5400×3600 pixels. This resolution size can produce the best quality results with fine detail–making them best suited to commercial jobs.

Which software is perfect for large format printing?

The best software varies depending on what your needs are when it comes to printing images. However, there are certain basics that all high-quality printers need. Such software may include Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw. Both of these programs are best for those looking to create a high-quality print.


We hope we could help with this blog post and give you some information on what resolutions are available, how they might affect your printing experience, and why you must make this choice carefully. With our knowledge in mind, now go ahead and pick out the perfect size of paper for your project from one of these four popular sizes!

You can also request our advice by contacting us at any time if you have further questions or concerns about choosing a resolution based on your needs. What resolution will be most appropriate for your print job? Let us know which option you’ve selected below!

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