How to use resolution to find print size


In my last post I wrote in favor of CMYK for print design over RGB, give it a read it when you get a chance. While writing that post some other topics came to mind, one being resolution. Screen and print resolution can be quite boring so instead of the typical dpi post, here is a tip on how to use resolution to find print size.

Do you like math?

Have you ever wanted to know the print size of an image? This is a tip I gave a coworker for when she receives jpegs. It is really simple math. Follow these steps:

  1. When you receive a jpeg or tiff look at the properties of the file to see the pixel dimensions.
  2. Divide the pixel height and pixel width by your desired resolution either 72 or 300.

Here is an example

Okay. Let’s say you received picture above in jpeg form at the size of 2205 pixels by 3212 pixels and the client would like to print a poster from it. If you are up to the math divide both dimensions by 72 to get what size the poster will print at. This file will produce a 30 inch by 44 inch poster.


This is a quick tip to help figure out what size a file can be reproduced. A little simple math is all it takes. Now, you should know this can be done in Adobe Photoshop using the Image Size feature under the Image menu .


If you don’t have Adobe Photoshop you can still solve the problem with pencil and paper.