Images are extremely important in the business world as they play a key role in helping to promote your brand and showcase your products and services. Due to the popularity of social media and the wide range of sources of information readily available online, having a good selection of high quality images has never been so important.

In today’s fast-paced society, we simply don’t have the time to read a magazine cover to cover or spend hours reading articles or posts that we may not be interested in, so we rely on the use of imagery to catch our attention and engage us. We are more responsive to visual communication than ever before and this is demonstrated by the popularity of visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, and the regular use of videos, GIFS and memes on Facebook and Twitter. It is a proven fact, released by Twitter, that tweets with images gain a significant amount more attention and generate more responses than tweets consisting of just text.  This confirms that no matter how interesting the content of your article/post is, if it is not accompanied by images to catch your audience’s attention, you run the risk of going unnoticed.

On a digital platform, the size of the image you use isn’t important, it’s more about selecting an image to use on social media or your website that relates to the content. However, selecting an image to use in print is significantly more complex as the files must be much higher quality, which is where the common phrase ‘high res’ comes in.

What is a high-resolution image?

No matter how many times we are asked for a high-res image, many of us still don’t fully understand what exactly makes an image ‘high-res’. So how do you determine the difference between a high resolution and a low resolution image? In order for an image to be reproduced in print, the image is required to be at least 300 dpi (dots/pixels per inch). If you printed an image that was 72 dpi which is the standard size that images are viewed on-screen, it would be low res and appear blurry. This is because, although it may look of high quality on your computer, the image is not detailed enough to be printed.  Usually, high resolution images are supplied as JPEG files and you can check the quality of the image by looking at its properties. The required size of the image can depend on where the image is going to be printed and the size of the reproduction, so the specification can vary.

The demand for high-resolution images can cause problems as many businesses struggle to produce suitable images that match the requirements above. We like to educate our clients on the importance of such images and assist in the selection process to ensure that the best possible image is used alongside an article.

We would recommend that all businesses take some time to build an image portfolio/library and work with their agency (or team) to decide which images should be used and in which context, in order to guarantee maximum exposure through print.