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Case Study: Digital Images Before and After



A lot of files go through our pre-press department on a daily basis and we have a lot of experience and stories to share in order to assist you to get your images prepared correctly to maximize the print quality. Here is an example of a recent customer. With their consent, we share some before and after shots of their files, and how a few tips helped their designer prepare files that resulted in a top quality mailing piece.

The Anonymous Showroom is a multi-line fashion showroom in New York. As their business grows so does their need for top quality images that reflect the fashion lines they represent. The showroom receives daily shipments and sends our direct mail pieces to their clients around the country on a weekly basis. Digital photography is their only choice when it comes to a fast paced environment like Fashion.

The images were originally shot with a personal digital camera, where settings were not properly adjusted. The designer ended up with low resolution images of 72 dpi, good for web but not for offset printing.

Image 1 portrays the file the designer originally prepared. She changed the image settings from 72 dpi to 300dpi, not realizing that my simply changing the dpi number of a low resolution image does not make it any better.

Following the guidelines and tips by the pre-press and art department, the Anonymous Showroom team was able to manage and edit the images in-house maximizing the quality of their images and consequently the quality of their print material. The designer was advised to minimize the size to get better resolution rather than simply editing the large image settings.

For example, as a first step she decreased the size in half and ended up with a 144dpi image. She then decreased that to half the size and ended up with a 288 dpi image. This resulted in higher resolution images that were too small to use as stand alone so we recommended instead of a new photo shoot, that thay use more than one image. Image 2 below portrays the final piece.



These before and after images illustrate the quality of the images used with the wrong formatting and after some basic formatting and optimization for offset printing.

Pre Press Tip: If you are looking to improve the quality of an image, do not change the settings to a highter resolution. Instead, decrease the size in half and the resolution will double.

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