Why Web Graphics are the Kiss of Death for Your Print Marketing Campaign

Why 72 DPI Website Graphics Just Don’t Make the Grade for Your Printed Marketing Materials

If someone told you that there was a completely free resource sitting right at your fingertips that could provide enough unique graphics to fuel your marketing campaign for, oh, say, the rest of forever, what would you tell them? I can’t put words into your mouth, but I would imagine it would be something along the lines of “Where do I sign!”

It takes a lot more than a single dot to create a 10X10 image on your printer.

Marketers, every day can be Christmas when you’ve got an unlimited collection of graphics at your fingertips. Imagine: No more digging for great photographs. No more contracting graphic designers for thousands of dollars a pop. Just log in, log on, and tap into the greatest talent pool on earth! A little copy/paste, a little Photoshop tweaking, and you’ve got posters, business cards, direct mail marketing postcards, logos and pretty much anything else you could possibly need to create eye popping, jaw dropping printed marketing materials.


Ummm…no. Why?

Because not all graphics are created equal!

What do you know about pixels? And no, I’m not talking about the cute, jabbering puppet from Lazytown. Pixels are the building blocks that make up pictures, the tiny points of color that are manipulated, stretched, shrunk and rearranged to create, tweak and resize your graphics. I like to think of pixels as little tiny Legos. When you have enough of them, you can create just about anything!

Now, let’s talk DPI. Relax, we’re not referring to Damage Per…well, anything. In the print world, DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and represents the number of dots of color the printer is going to put on the page. Now, when you’re talking about DPI I like to think of pixels as little, tiny Legos. The more of them you have, the more intricate and detailed your creation can be. Imagine how much more you could do with 300 little, tiny Legos compared to what you could do with 75 big ones.

That, right there, is the difference between a 300(+) DPI printable graphic and a 75 DPI html image.

See the difference?

When was the last time you tried to open a file containing a high resolution photograph on your computer? It took forever, right? That’s why most web images are 75 DPI. They’re made to  load quickly onto the page, and because they’re opened on a digital platform instead of printed (you know, using paper?) the quality is just fine. The problem is, that same quality isn’t going to carry over into your marketing materials.

Do you really want an excessively fuzzy graphic blown up on your posters for the whole world to see? I didn’t think so.