Why do my images look pixelated?
Updated: Aug 10
Have you ever wondered why images look pixelated when you increase their size? Here's a quick guide to understanding pixelation.
When looking up close in magazines or other printed material, have you noticed that everything is printed with thousands of little dots?
So, you know that every photograph is made up of lots and lots of pixels. Here’s a close up of what that looks like when you zoom in.
Now, let's imagine you want to increase the size of your image.
Pixels DO NOT SCALE, so when you increase the size of your image, YOU INCREASE THE SIZE OF YOUR PIXELS TOO.
That’s worth saying again.
When you increase the size of your image, you increase the size of your pixels too.
The more dots you have per inch, the less noticeable it will be when you scale.
The fewer the dots, the larger and more noticeable they’ll be. This is why web images never look good in print. (Remember there’s only 72 dots per inch in web stuff, whereas print needs at least 300 dpi ideally)
The rule of thumb:
Usually, in print, there are 300 dots in every inch.
For anything online, it’s usually 72. (so a lot less)
As a rule, avoid scaling anything up that’s made from pixels. Try and take your photos at a large enough size to begin with.
And that's it! It really is that simple. If you'd like any advice on whether your brand assets are high enough quality or not, please get in touch on the contact tab or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.