December 14, 2020
Understanding image quality is essential
Sending images to a news outlet or vendor may seem like a simple task, but it’s importance can often be overlooked. The image quality you provide can affect whether or not a reporter chooses to cover your story.
Images are measured by DPI or dots per inch. A high DPI references a high-quality photo.
Raster vs. vector
Raster images are made up of tiny pixels that blend together to make an image, which is what we know as photographs. When zooming in, a raster image will lose its quality as the pixels blur. A common software used to create and edit these images is Adobe Photoshop.
Vector images are created by using shapes to create paths of color. Since the user decides where color will be placed and there are no pixels, the images are less complex than raster images. Vector images can be magnified infinitely without losing their quality. Vector images typically include logos and text. With the use of Adobe Illustrator, you can create new content or turn an existing photo into a vector image.
After you’re done editing a photo, you can change the file type depending on what you created. Changing the file type will blend all the photo’s layers and text into one cohesive image that cannot be altered, creating a smaller file size. When saving a duplicate raster image from Photoshop, use a JPEG file type. When saving a vector image, use a PDF file type to make your artwork accessible across multiple Adobe platforms.
Confirming the DPI of an image is easy and doesn’t require advanced software. Simply go to your files, right-click the image, and select “properties.” When the window opens up, click on the “details” tab, and the DPI information will be listed in the section labeled “image.” Listed below are the minimum DPI requirements for a high-quality image per medium:
- Websites: 72-88 DPI
- Print newspapers: 100-150 DPI
- Print magazines: 300 DPI
- Television: 4K DPI
With this knowledge, you can check image quality to ensure you’re sending high-resolution photos for the specified medium. Although it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get coverage or land a client, it certainly helps knowing how to manage images. This skill is a necessity when working in public relations.
Christie Parhiala is a fall intern at Axia Public Relations. She is currently a public relations and marketing student at the University of North Florida.