Resizing images for print

I have a client who sent me an image designed by someone else. They sent is as a flattened photoshop file at 72ppi 11.5x17.77
The size should be half page, so if I resize (not resample) to 300ppi it takes it to 7"x10.84"
Is this going to look like crap when printed or will it be ok?
I’m concerned that “condensing” it to a 300 isn’t going to make it good quality if it started out at 72 (even though technically the data is there?), but I’m not sure. Any advice?

I’ve tried to get the client to send a file that is already 300ppi with layers, and he can’t get it.

screenshot for reference

Without resampling, that will give you about a 118ppi file, which will look quite bad.

Even though people aim for 300ppi, it’s overkill for a 150 lpi halftone (you didn’t mention the halftone frequency of the publication/flyer or whatever or if it will be printed digitally). Somewhere in the neighborhood of 250ppi is usually good enough.

118ppi, though, no, it’ll look a bit fuzzy. Upsampling to 300ppi won’t get you anywhere; it will look the same, just at a higher resolution.

So, when I type 300ppi in the resolution box, what is actually happening to the graphic?
That is what I tried first when I realized that it was 72ppi but too big, I typed in 300ppi and unchecked resample to see what would happen. (So I guess technically I’m not resizing … what is it called re-resolutining? lol)
When I realized that it was almost the right size when I did that, I thought I must be missing something.

I actually don’t know anything about how it will be printed. I am using the previous designer’s indesign file as a template.

I’m assuming it will be printed digitally … I’ve never dealt with halftone printers (except screen print for garments, but that’s different)

I just want to make absolutely sure that I can’t use this file he keeps sending me before I respond back to him asking him to get a better quality file. again.
What would you suggest?

Let’s start at the end first, the part where you say you are working from the previous designer’s Indesign file… Why are you using a 72ppi file from the client then? Is it something you are trying to place into the InD file?

As for the 72ppi, that’s it. You can’t “make” more pixels via interpolating upwards. They just aren’t there. What happens when you tel Photoshop to “make” it 300ppi is the program guesses based on neighboring pixels. That’s where the blur comes from. Once an image is saved to a lower resolution, that pixel information is gone forever. If you want this image to be 300ppi, it will be 2.76" x 4.08". If you wnt it to be 7x10.84, it will be 118ppi. Whether or not 118ppi will work for you depends on what quality level your client expects. When in doubt, print it out. If this is cover art though… I personally would expect better.

Here’s a basic presentation on image resizing:
DPI and resizing
It was written a while ago but is still relevant today.

This is very basic resolution stuff. It is one of the many things you should already have well under your belt before taking on clients.

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If you type in a new size and check the resample box, Photoshop will resample the image to that size and resolution. In other words, it will add or remove pixels (resampling) from the image so that there are 300 pixels per row of pixels per inch at the size you specify.

If you type in a new size and do not check the resample box, Photoshop will change the output size without any resampling. In other words, no pixels will be added or removed to create the new output size.

For example, let’s say you have a 10x10-inch image that is 100ppi. If you reduce that image to 5x5 inches without resampling, you will be crowding the same number of pixels into a smaller space, which in this case, means you will end up with 200 pixels in an inch-long row of pixels. In other words, reducing the image dimensions by half, doubles the resolution because the same number of pixels are crowded into a smaller output size.

Upsampling adds pixels through interpolation — a process where algorithms make guesses as to what extra pixels should be added. For most practical purposes, it sort of amounts to averaging things upwards Downsampling removes pixels through interpolation.

It rarely does any good to upsample an image for the reasons PrintDriver mentioned. Photoshop can add more pixels, but it can’t do magic by adding detail to a photo that isn’t there. There are applications and plugins with algorithms that make interpolation guesses as to additional detail when upsampling, like finding a sharp edge and maintaining that sharp edge, but in general, these upsampling applications don’t produce great results.

Downsampling is mainly useful for reducing the resolution of images that would otherwise be larger than necessary. For example, if you have a 10x10-inch image that is 300ppi and reduce that image to 5x5 inches without resampling, the resolution of that image will increase to 600ppi, which, for a photo, is usually higher than needed. Checking the resample box and specifying that you want it resampled to 300ppi will remedy this problem by reducing the number of pixels.

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Thank you for all the info! My anxiety started kicking in and I started doubting myself. My first thought was no this file will not work, but when he kept sending it I started wondering if maybe I am an idiot and that there is some sort of trick I’m supposed to know about this … why else would the other designer send such a thing?
That is when I decided to reach out to you more experienced folks.
And I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

I do understand about not being able to magically change a 72ppi image into a 300ppi image and have it look good …it was just weird since it was kinda backwards, making the image smaller but higher resolution. Which I didn’t think would work. But again, self doubt made me want to double check. It would be terribly embarrassing for me if the client came back with a message from the other designer with an easy fix when I told the client I couldn’t use the file at least 3 times.

If you can’t tell this project is a bit of a mess. Looking forward to it’s completion.

I will continue to ask questions that make me look like I have no idea what I’m doing. Please bear with me, I promise that I do have at least some idea of what I’m doing and someday I will be as smart as you all.

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