How to Render graphics with right size to pixel ratio?


I have a question about the right PPI for projects.

I’m an amateur, self taught graphic designer that does random marketing projects for a law firm that I work at. Recently, I was asked to create an 8.5"w x 9"h poster for a seminar we are hosting. No Prob - it looks decent. Using photoshop, at a higher PPI (240), it prints well, and is a huge file currently.

I’ve been asked to facilitate it being included in various local chamber of commerce weekly paid emails. Each chamber requests it in different sizes (i.e. 568px x 497px) but how to I make sure that the text remains crisp and readable? Historically, it gets a bit fuzzy due to low res. I’ve attached a photo (with our business info redacted - so ignore the black boxes) It is currently 2040px x 2169px @ 240PPI. How do I make it ~25% of that size and retain quality of text and image crispness? The chambers are asking for jpeg files which I thought were not preferable for this type of thing?

By using a proper layout tool rather than Photoshop. Photoshop is a raster image editor, thus your all-Photoshop designs deploy as resolution-dependent raster images. Crisp, readable text travels as vectors. This is why professionals use a page layout application to mix raster elements of appropriate resolution with vector elements.


@HotButton - Thank you for this info. I’m clearly not a pro. That being the case, could you describe what process to use to keep the images where they are and the text where it is in a proper layout tool? What tools would you recommend?

Industry-standard page layout apps are Adobe InDesign and Quark. You could also produce viable output of a layout like that from Adobe Illustrator.

In any of those, you would place or import your Photoshop image(s), (everything but the text), then set your type in front. Appropriate delivery format in most cases would be PDF.

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@HotButton - I appreciate your reply. Now, knowing that the chambers are asking for a jpeg file, would me importing images into AI and set type in front then saving as PDF won’t really help in this case, right? So, with the delivery being .jpeg, what would be the best way to keep text crisp? Or am I stuck just scaling it all down to the requested ratio and keeping PPI higher?

The chambers are wrong. Forget JPEG.

Anyone asking for JPEG doesn’t know enough to be in the position of file-specifier. Anyone who could print a JPEG image could also print a PDF, and a properly prepared PDF will deliver superior output to even the highest quality JPEG, regardless of the method.

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That sort of depends.

In this instance EricK said they were planning on using it in an email, in which case JPEG would be the standard format. And 25% of a 2040-pixel-wide images would be reasonable dimensions for an email. Well, actually, it would be a bit small for the type to be read comfortably.

If I had been asked for something like this to be sent as an email, I would have asked for the exact size it was going to be sent, then scaled the image to that size and saved it using Photoshop’s Save for Web option.

Keeping the typography as sharp as possible, however, means, as Hotbutton said, not using Photoshop for the text and only rasterizing it to JPEG for the email at the size it was requested. What you never want to do is save a JPEG, then keep resizing and resaving it. That just amounts to a whole series of cumulative problems.

The first question is; Do you still have the source file? The Photoshop (PSD file)

If you do, I think I can help.

  • You could open a fresh project with the new dimension you are supposed to resize to
  • Convert your layers (on old file) to Smart object (this will retain their properties).
  • Move your converted layers from the source file to the new project you opened and resize to fit.
  • Also move your text (hopefully you haven’t resterized it). If you have resterized, you can convert layer to smart object to or just retype it (which would be better).

Hopefully, this helps…

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