High quality sublimation starts with high quality images, but somewhere along the way, that message seems to get lost.
However, it’s really a simple equation: garbage in = garbage out
As great as the sublimation process is at printing high resolution, finely detailed, full color images, it can’t convert bad images into good ones. So what is the ideal resolution? That’s a tricky question, as resolution is tied to image size.
In general, most Sublimators and Digital Decorators prefer artwork in the 350 dpi range for the size of the given application. Keep in mind that increasing the size of the image will reduce the dpi. For example, if you were printing a 4” x 4” tile, then the image needs to be 350 dpi at 4” x 4”. If your image was 350 dpi at 2” x 2”, and you increased the image size to 4″ x 4″ to use for the tile, the resolution would decrease by about half, which probably wouldn’t be acceptable in terms of visual quality.
Bottom-line: size does matter! It should also be noted, that dpi only applies to raster or bitmap images. Vector art on the other hand is resolution independent, meaning that resizing does not affect image quality. The only limiting factors become the abilities of an output device such as a printer.
If a customer cannot get you the quality graphic that you need, do not be afraid to ask for another or turn the job down. Remember, “garbage in = garbage out.” To learn more about the importance of quality graphics click here.