Printer resolution and what you see

The default resolution will vary depending on where the image comes from and the software used to process it. People often assume that the higher the printer resolution number(DPI or PPI) they use, the better their prints will look. But, the final print quality actually involves a number of other factors such as the how the image was captured, processed, as well as what printer, printheads, printer driver/RIP, inks, media and the viewing distance.

The maximum resolution our printers can reproduce is 360 PPI.

The minimum resolution we recommend is 180 PPI, though depending on the viewing distance less can work.

Viewing distance

The ability of a print system to achieve high effective resolution is one factor of perceived print quality. Ultimately it is the capability of the human eye which is the final determinant, and this is governed by the distance from the eye to the image – the viewing distance.

Viewing Distance Resolution: Pixels Per Inch (PPI)
0.46 m / 1.5 ft 300-400
0.6 m / 2 ft 300
1 m / 3.3 ft 180
1.5 m / 5 ft 120
2 m / 6.5 ft 90
3 m / 10 ft 60
5 m / 16 ft 35
10 m / 33 ft 18
15 m / 50 ft 12
50m / 160 ft 4
60 m / 200 ft 3
200 m / 650 ft 1


Prints that are meant to be viewed close up should have resolution between 200-360 ppi

For signs or other prints meant to be view from far away can get away with much less.

Paper Choices

Some papers can show more detail than others, a glossy photo paper will be sharper than a matte canvas print. 

Other Resources About Resolution and Viewing Distances:

Northlight Images: What print resolution works for what viewing distance.

XAAR: Print Quality for Inkjet