Photograph Preparation Basics

Images are strong communication tools that can either enhance and support your written message or obscure and weaken it. You should make sure that the images you use are of optimum quality, appropriate in size, and relevant to your written message.

Remember that resolution on a monitor is completely different from resolution on a printer. To help ensure that the images you submit for your print projects or your Web site are in the best usable form, please keep the following in mind:

Images for printed material (printer):

Resolution affects the quality of scanned images.  Resolution is expressed as dots per inch (dpi). The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution; hence, the better the quality of the printed image. For example, an image of 1200 dpi is better quality than one that is 600 dpi; an image of 300 dpi is better quality than 72 dpi. A minimum of 300 dpi is required for most print publications.

Images for a Web site (monitor):

  1. Resolution does not depend upon dpi, but rather upon how much color the monitor can display.  The dots or picture elements on the monitor screen are called pixels.
  2. The pixels per inch (ppi) of an image transfers directly to dpi on a printer.  In other words, an image that is 72 ppi looks great on a monitor, but will not print well.
  3. Images that will only be used on Web pages, need to be 72 ppi or better. 

Should you wish to include photographs in your print or electronic communication, three options are available:

File Photos
You may use available photographs from the Department of Marketing and Communications or your department's own files. The Department of Marketing and Communications can search for appropriate images for you if you specify your requirements.

Freelance Photographers
If file photos do not suffice, you may hire a freelance photographer. A photographer can cost more than $500 for a half-day shoot, plus expenses. The Department of Marketing and Communications can advise you on cost and refer qualified vendors.

Stock Photography
When purchasing stock photographs, be sure you understand the usage rights. Many images are licensed for one-time use only. It is better to acquire royalty-free images. Bear in mind that the University strongly discourages depictions of individuals who are not actually affiliated with Pace, so stock images may not always be appropriate. When preparing photos for inclusion in your print material, two options are available.

Prints
Traditional color or black-and-white prints can be supplied to the Department of Marketing and Communications for scanning. These will be returned to you on completion of your project. We are able to convert full color to black-and-white or duotone. Be sure prints are treated carefully. Do not leave fingerprints on the surface. Do not use paper clips to attach them. If you must write on the back, press lightly with a soft pencil. Ballpoint pens can leave indentations and markers can transfer to the surface of other photos.

Digital
If you chose to send digital photos, be sure that the resolution of the image is at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) when the photo is full size (100%). Images from the Web are typically 72 dpi and, as such, too small for use in print. A 2" x 3" photo at 300 dpi is 1.5 megabytes.

Files may be supplied as JPEGs, TIFFs, or Photoshop files. They can be RGB (red, green, blue) or CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

Need more information on using pictures? Contact us.