300 dpi vs 600 dpi Printing

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Let’s start with the basics.

1.       ID card printers use a printing technique that prints tiny dots to make a picture.

2.       The amount of dots in a given area is largely responsible for the resolution, or clarity, of an image.

3.       DPI stands for Dots per Inch, which, in this case, refers to the printing process where one line of dots is printed at a time.

So if a printer prints in 600dpi that must be twice as clear as a 300dpi print right? Not exactly. You see, in order to actually see any higher quality print, the file size being printed needs to be much larger. It’s like watching a VHS tape on an HD TV. The TV may be “higher quality” but the movie isn’t going to look any better simply because the output can’t be any better than the input.

So for printing an ID card, most image files are too small to see any better clarity in 600dpi over 300dpi. 600dpi printing also takes longer to print each card and reduces the lifetime of the print head due to the increased workload. So 300dpi is your best bet.

But you want a clearer photo on your id badges right? Here are some steps you can take that will improve the print quality without having to run out and get a new printer others claim is “better”.

1. Clean your printer 

Just like cars need oil changes, printers need to be cleaned in order to perform their best. While cleaning the printer you will clean the print head which is responsible for printing the dots on the card.

2. Change your pictures

Start by cleaning your camera lens and taking a closer photo of the individual. You can crop the image in the software when designing your ID card but zooming in will reduce the image clarity.

3. Recalibrate your settings.

Within your ID card printing software you should be able to change some color setting. You can brighten the photo all together or change the color settings on the printer drivers. If you need some help with your ID Maker 3.0 software, give our tech team a call.

4. Use a quality card

There are tons of blank cards out there and they are NOT created equally. Using a quality card recommended by your printer provider will increase the image quality.

All of these options will surely have a better impact on printing a quality card over printing in 600dpi. If you’re are in the market for a new ID Card Printer System, browse our selection of ID Makers and rest assured that unlike other providers, our service doesn’t come with an expiration date.

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