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Why Is My Photo Fuzzy?

 Do you ever wonder why some images look great online, but when you use them in print they’re suddenly blurry?


It’s important to have clear, high quality images on all of your marketing materials.  Keep reading to find out why there’s a difference in resolution, and how to choose the best images to portray your business, no matter what medium you’re using!


When I’m designing a website, brochure, or ad, clients often supply pictures to use in those promotional materials. Sometimes the photos are great, but other times the quality is too poor to be usable. Blurry or grainy photos detract from a professional, polished company image. While graphic designers can manipulate some photos to improve them, the best solution is to obtain high-quality images in the first place. 


Image Resolution 

The quality of an image is called its resolution. Image resolution is a measurement that describes how many of your image’s pixels will fit inside each inch of paper when printed or used on a website. The unit of measurement is “dpi,” which stands for dots per inch. Website images need a low-pixel count (72 dpi is ideal), and images for print materials need a much higher resolution (about 300 dpi). 


Why do website images have such a lower resolution? It’s because images on the web require a smaller file size for quicker downloading when the website is in a browser. In other words, it keeps things moving when you’re browsing online and navigating sites. 


Manipulating Quality 

You can downgrade a high-resolution image to a low-resolution image for online use, but you cannot take a low resolution image and transform it into a high quality image. Standard images downloaded from websites should never be used in print applications because they will appear blurry. There are some techniques that a professional designer can do to improve the quality of an image, but it will never be fully clear. On occasion, I’ve bypassed the issue by redrawing client logos in order to create a clear version for print materials, but photographs don’t offer a similar workaround. 


The best way to ensure high quality images is to take photographs with your camera at optimal settings. To find out more about how to do this, check out the tips in this article


Need professional help with images in your promotional materials? Contact Waterfront Graphic Design today at or 608-592-6501.

 608.669.4677        W10994 Eagle Drive, Lodi, WI 53555

Located 30 minutes north of Madison, WI, on beautiful Lake Wisconsin.

We were honored to be awarded the Small Business of the Year award from the Lodi & Lake Wisconsin Chamber.