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  Digital File Image Guidelines for Producing a Good Print
   
 
Producing a good, large-format digital print is only as good as the image file that you start with. Contrary to popular wisdom, creation of a superior image file is not easy, and most (non-professional) people do not possess the knowledge, skill, or equipment to do it properly. Here are a few guidelines to follow when capturing an image and preparing a file for our decor print process.
   
  USING DIGITAL CAMERAS FOR LARGE-FORMAT PRINT
  When using a digital SLR camera for large-format print, you should always use settings that produce the highest file size possible. Raw or tiff file formats are preferred, however, a properly produced (the largest possible) jpeg will work OK. Soft, even lighting and sharp focus are critical. If you are digitally photographing a painting or picture, the camera's body must be held precisely parallel to the picture plane of the painting or the focus will be uneven. Soft, indirect lighting is usually best. Also, if your camera is not capable of producing at least an 8 megapixel file you should consider getting an upgrade model.
   
  SCANNING AND IMAGE RESOLUTION
 
An image’s resolution needs to be adequate for the print size. Resolutions between 150 and 300 pixels per inch are the best for images at 100% size. For photographs or scanned art we recommend a minimum resolution of 150 ppi or higher, in uncompressed tiff or jpeg format with little or no compression. For text and graphics with or without an image use a resolution of 300ppi or higher.
In most cases increasing an image's resolution by resampling will not improve image quality. However, If you plan on adding graphics or text to an image or making other changes, increase the image resolution prior to making these adjustments.
   
 
CROP PROPERLY
If you have digitally photographed or scanned a painting or picture, crop it to within the borders of the entire image. Make sure the edges are clean. If you leave an edge that is not part of the actual image to be printed then the print will look amateurish.
 
CHECKING YOUR WORK
If possible, check your file carefully in Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photopaint, or any other image processing software that you may have available. First check the image dimensions to see if they are what you want your print size to be. Then inspect the entire image at "actual pixels" (100%) magnification view. Make sure that the image is sharp throughout and that the lighting is even. Make sure that there are no hazy areas or splotches of white dots in the image. Remember, if something looks weird, then it will probably present a problem. Also, make sure all edges are cropped properly for a clean look.
 
COPYRIGHT DILIGENCE
Before sending us a digital file for reproduction, make sure that you either;
1. Are the creator and therefore the "actual owner" to the copyrights  and reproduction rights to the image.
2. Have obtained written permission from the "actual owner" of the copyrights to reproduce the image.*
*  (If you are not the actual owner of the image copyrights you must provide us with written permission from the actual owner.)
 
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
Most people want margins around their prints. If you have any of the above-mentioned image processing software you can add the margins around your image. White is used most commonly, although for special effect or for museum-wrapped canvas you can use any color.

Please note that for direct-to-print decor pricing, you must send us the file ready to go without needing any additional prep work. While we are happy to perform additional adjustments or formatting services to your image files, we will need to charge you for them. By carefully following our image guidlines you can save a significant amount of money.

It is a common mistake to confuse DPI (dots per inch) with PPI (pixels per inch). DPI is a printer resolution and relates to the number of ink dots a printer is capable of laying down on the paper. Pixels per inch is the actual digital image resolution you see on your monitor and refers to packets of image & color information in the digital file. Therefore DPI and PPI are not directly related. As an example, a properly prepared digital image file with a screen resolution of 200ppi that is printed on a printer at 1440dpi will look terrific.
   
  KNOWLEDGE RESOURCES
  There are many great websites that you can access to learn about photography & scanning of artwork. We will mention just a few:
Flaar Digital Imaging Resource Center http://www.flaar.org/, Photo.net Forum http://photo.net/ ,
   
   
 
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