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You've done it!
You've drawn a great piece of artwork. Taken a fabulous photograph. Borrowed a stunning illustration. Now, how do you get those images into the project you're working on?

First, the paper image needs to be converted into an electronic image made up of tiny dots by a scanner. If you're going to need the highest quality image possible, STOP RIGHT THERE. Send the original art work to us and we will scan it for you. If you don't need the highest quality image, or if you want to scan images in to get a rough idea of how they will look in your project, read on.

Scans come in different flavours.
There are two types of scans: Line art and grayscale. Line art scans are made up of an image that contains solids and lines, like most clip art, logos, and line drawings.

Grayscale scans are made of any image that has shades of gray as well as black and white, like photographs or charcoal drawings. Colour photos are treated the exact same way as grayscale when scanning.

The first big decision you'll have to make is how many DPI (Dots Per Inch) you want to scan your image at. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution, and the better your image will look. HOWEVER, it's never a good idea to over-scan. It doesn't make your art look better and you'll end up with files the size of Prince Edward Island.

One pill makes you larger. One pill makes you small..
Be careful - your DPI will also change if you put your image into a page layout program and then reduce it or enlarge it. If you scan a 4" x 4" original and then reduce it to 2" x 2", your DPI will double. Why? Because you are fitting the same number of dots into half as much space. And you get a bonus, your image quality will improve.

But when you enlarge an image, your DPI (and image quality) will fall because you're spreading the same number of dots over a much larger space. So if you know you're going to be enlarging a 2" x 2" image to a 4" x 4", scan your original at double the normal DPI or at the final size. That way you'll end up with the DPI where you want it to be.

Caution: Web Art.
Since the web standard is 72 DPI, most photos or other art you grab off the web will probably not reproduce well even on an office printer, which requires 200 DPI to look good. Web art is great for use elsewhere on the web, but it's probably going to look terrible on your professionally printed annual report.

Some DPI references
Scans for the Web Scans for the Office Scans for Quality work Scans for Museum quality
72 DPI 200 DPI 300 DPI 400 DPI

Exactly right
The least understood word in electronic publishing is resolution. There's resolution of an image, the resolution of an image-setter, the resolution of a scanner and so on.

Resolution is the number of dots that are assigned to a given space. It's as simple as that. The complicated part is whose dots are whose!

DPI (dots per inch) is printer resolution.

SPI (samples per inch) is scanned images.

LPI (lines per inch) is halftone screens.

This is the correct information, though most people substitute DPI for all of them. But now you know. If you have more questions, remember, just call us. We're here to help.


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Corporate Printers
83 Iber Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2S 1E7
Telephone: (613) 591-2335 Fax: (613) 591-1817

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