If the thought of printing your designs is overwhelming and the terms "bleeds", "DPI" or "CMYK" leave your head spinning, we can help. Learn the basics of transforming your digital Venngage designs into flawless printed material. This article answers the following questions:
1. What are "resolution" and "DPI"?
The detail in an image is referred to as the resolution, whether it's displayed on the screen of an electronic device or printed with ink on paper.
To the human eye, a high resolution image has more detail and depth than a low resolution image, which might look grainy or blurry the more you zoom in.
[Image Description: Two identical-sized photos of a pink rose side by side. The photo on the left is a higher resolution, and shows the rose clearly. The photo on the right is a lower resolution, and the image is "fuzzy" and pixelated. End Description.]
On your computer screen, resolution is measured in PPI (Pixels Per Inch). A pixel is the smallest unit of an image that an electronic screen displays. Printers don't use pixels when transferring an image from the screen to paper. They convert the image resolution from PPI to a measurement they can "read": DPI.
DPI (Dots Per Inch)
DPI is the acronym for "Dots Per Inch", a measurement of resolution used to measure how many dots of ink a printer will apply to paper when printing an image. Dots can vary in size, colour and shade, depending on the resolution of the image.
Clear, high resolution images are printed at 300 DPI. The Venngage canvas is set to the equivalent of 96 DPI, which is the standard resolution for screens. Lower resolution images appear just as clear and detailed to the human eye on a screen but take less time and use less bandwidth to load on your device.
If you are a Premium, Business or Enterprise user, download a PNG HD version of the design file you want to print to get that 300 DPI resolution. Downloading a regular PNG file or PDF may result in a slightly pixelated (blurry) image when printing it on paper.
2. What is "RGB" or "CMYK" and which should I choose for my print?
RGB in an acronym for "Red, Green and Blue". CMYK is an acronym for "Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black". Both are colour models. The most important thing to remember is:
RGB is the standard used in displaying images on screens.
CMYK is the standard used for for printing images.
There may be some variances in the colours you see on the screen to the printed image. You can "check" how the vibrancy of your colours will transfer from screen to print by running them through an external converter such as Rapid Tables.
Here's an example of how to check colour conversions:
[Video description: Using a design in the Venngage editor, the user selects elements to colour check with an external converter as described in the process below. End description.]
Steps for checking colour variation between RGB and CMYK:
In your design within the Venngage editor, select the element you want to check and open the colour picker for that element. (In the video, the user selects a bar chart and clicks Edit Chart to open the Chart Menu and see the colours.)
Make note of the RGB values of the element.
In another tab, open an external colour value converter.
Enter the RGB values for the element into the converter.
Compare the colour generated by the converter to the colour in the Venngage editor.
3. How do I pick the best standard printing size for my design?
The Venngage editor allows you to customize the size of your design page. You can measure the dimensions of your project in pixels, inches or centimeters.
Use an online converter like PixelTo to calculate the conversion from pixels or DPI to your preferred metric.
If you're a Business or Enterprise user, you can use the resize feature to automatically scale the elements of your design up or down as you adjust the design page size.
4. How do I use margins and print bleed to find the edges of my design before printing?
The Venngage editor is equipped with guides that show you the margins and the print bleed of your design.
Margins are the standard measurements that define the space between the edge of a page and the design. Most printer interfaces will allow you to set the margins yourself, although standard printers cannot print right up to the edge of the page.
In order to see the Margins Guide in the Venngage editor, click on the drop-down menu to the left in the top toolbar and select Margins under Guides.
TIP: Turning on the margins guide is helpful when printing on a standard printer. If your design page is a standard size, such as Letter (8"X11") and the design elements go beyond the margins on the page, the design may be cut off when printing.
Print bleeds are used by professional printers to indicate where part of the design—usually the background colour—will be printed beyond the standard margins of the page, onto a larger piece of paper. Print bleeds are then trimmed, cutting the page (and the design) down to the desired size.
Show Print Bleed: If your design has a coloured background or elements that extend to the edges of the page in the editor, click the Show print bleed checkbox under Settings in the top toolbar.
Printing to the absolute edges of the pages is usually referred to as "full bleed" and cannot be done by most standard printers.
Curious about upgrading? Compare our plan features side by side.