This is the Best DPI You Should Use for Digital Art

Regarding photography and digital art, the resolution is one of the most important factors in creating a high-quality image: the more finely tuned elements and clarity, the better. Dots per inch (DPI) refers to the number of ink dots on an image for every inch, describing the sharpness and detail of an image.

The best DPI you should use for digital art is 300 DPI. Whether for print or web, 300 DPI would satisfy both mediums. There are many types of resolutions— ones that can apply to television, film, etc., but the two you’ll encounter most with digital art are screen and print resolution.

Depending on what your digital art is intended for, you may encounter different DPIs. Let’s look at the different types of resolutions and the best-suited DPIs.

Why Is 300 DPI the Best?

300 DPI is considered the optimum resolution for printing photos and other images. Increasing the DPI to 300 will result in a higher quality image, and will result in a clearer, crisper image.

300 DPI is the best because it is the industry standard for printing. Most printers are able to print at 300 DPI or higher, so if you’re looking to get your images printed, 300 DPI is going to be your best bet.

Not only that, but 300 DPI provides a high level of detail. When an image is printed at 300 DPI, the printing process captures a lot of minute details that you may not be able to see with the naked eye. This can be beneficial if you’re looking to create prints that are extremely detailed and realistic.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Higher/Lower DPI

There are both pros and cons to using a higher or lower DPI. Depending on your needs, one may be better suited for you than the other.

The main advantage of using a higher DPI is that it results in a higher quality image. If you’re looking to create prints that are extremely detailed and realistic, then a higher DPI is going to be your best bet.

Higher DPI can result in a better quality image, but it can also take up more space on your hard drive and load slower online. If you’re planning on printing your images, however, a higher DPI is always going to give you a better result.

Lower DPI can save you some space, and lots faster on websites, but it will also result in a lower-quality image. This is fine if you’re just posting your images online or sending them to friends and family, but if you’re looking to get them printed, you should always go with the highest DPI possible.

Screen Resolution Vs. Printing Resolution

The industry-standard resolution for the screen is 72 PPI, and it has been this way since the 1980s when Apple released the first Macintosh computer. The screens at the time were 72 pixels per inch to go along with the ImageWriter printers Apple also sold that had a DPI twice the size of the screens.

The reason this PPI is recommended is two-fold. 72 PPI is a measurement that shows sufficient visual information of the image and keeps site load times to a minimum. There is a lot of argument surrounding the validity of 72 PPI since most modern computers on the market today have higher resolutions.

Design applications will allow you to change the PPI or DPI of an image at will.

Commercial printers will tell you what to set as your resolution for them to accept your image for printing. Some printers will accept a range of DPIs, but all of them will tell you that the minimum DPI allowable is 300.

When you have a digital image or art piece open in Photoshop or a comparable program, you can change the DPI up or down, and it will not affect the pixel dimensions, which means that no matter the DPI, the image will look the same on the web. If that’s the case, setting your digital art to 300 DPI or greater makes the most sense. That way, you can have it ready for print or screen.

How to Find the DPI of an Image

Perhaps you’ve found an image on the internet that you would like to use, or someone sends you their digital art, and you need to know the DPI. There is an easy way to find out the DPI of an image; it just depends on the device you’re using.

For Mac Users

You can locate the DPI using the built-in app, Preview. Go to your Finder file manager and locate your image, right-click, then select Open With > Preview. Once the Preview window opens, navigate to Tools > Show Inspector. You will see a line entry titled Image DPI, among other important information about your image.

For Windows Users

You can use Windows File Explorer. Navigate the image, then right-click and select Properties in the pop-up menu. Once the Properties window opens up, navigate to the Details tab. Scroll down until you find the Horizontal and Vertical resolutions on the list. These resolutions are your DPI and will most likely have the same value.

Opened in Photoshop

If you already have your image opened up in Photoshop, then you must navigate to Image > Image Size. The dialog box will open, and you will see it listed as Resolution under the width and height of the image. Don’t be thrown off by the resolution being in pixels/inch; it is the same value for DPI.


A DPI that can translate across mediums is the best option because it saves you time, energy, and hassle. Whether referred to as PPI or DPI, you know resolution matters most when printing a digital image, and digital art for the screen can be displayed the same at any DPI.