Image quality is one of the most important factors of photography and digital design. While images often appear perfect on-screen, images can come out grainy when printed. This is an issue many people face, and it has everything to do with the image resolution and the number of pixels per 1 inch in the image. 

What is Pixel Count in an Image?

If you zoom in far enough on a photo or image, you’ll notice that the image is made up of several different squares. These squares are referred to as pixels. When it comes to understanding image clarity, there are two factors to consider. 

First, you need to understand the number of pixels in an image. For example, using photoshop or InDesign, you might see a box that reads 3000px by 2000px. This is your pixel count in your image; in other words, the number of pixels per bit throughout your entire image at a time. 

So, what is 300 DPI in pixels per inches in an image? What does that mean?

How Many Pixels Do I Need to Get to 300 DPI in an Image?

Pixel density is the other factor to consider when aiming for image quality effectiveness. Image size is expressed as DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixels per inch). So, when you ask yourself, “what is 300 DPI in Pixels Per Inch per image,” the answer is 300 because 300 DPI in an image means there are 300 pixels per inch in your web design image.

Finding the number of pixels you need to get 300 DPI for your image is simple. You can use online pixel calculators if need be, but the equation is fairly straightforward. 

Say you are printing an image that is 8″ by 10,” and you want a DPI of 300 (the recommended dimensions that all images are at least 300 DPI). You would do: 8” x 300dpi = 2400px. And 10” x 300dpi = 3000px. So your pixel count for your image would be 2400px x 3000px.

bird with red head

How Many Pixels Do I Need to Make the 4″ X 6″ Image in My Document Print at 300 DPI? 

Following the same equation above, you can easily find the pixels necessary for any image size and paper you plan to print. For a 4″ by 6″ image, the equation would be as follows:

4” x 300dpi = 1200px and 6” x 300dpi = 1800px

So you would need 1200 x 1800 for your pixel count.

What if I Want the Image to Go Off the Edge of the Page?

If you want your image to go off the edge of the page, you can always scale up your image format by .125 of an inch. This scaling allows for color bleeding on all sides of the image. First, make sure to eliminate any margins in the image in photoshop if they exist before aiming for a size higher during your image. 

For example, if you have a 4″ x 6″ image with 300dpi and want your image to go off the edge, you can opt for 4.125″ x 6.125″ with 300dpi, giving you 1238 x 1838 pixels in your image.

Another tip you can use is to add 38px to the image to create bleed and save time.

Inch-to-Pixel Conversion Chart for Images

The chart below illustrates the best inch to pixel conversion with images of different sizes and DPI without bleed.

Image Size (w x h)300 DPI per image 250 DPI per image200 DPI per image
1” x 1”300 x 300 px250 x 250 px200 x 200 px
2” x 2”600 x 600 px500 x 500 px400 x 400 px
4” x 6”1200 x 1800 px1000 x 1500 px800 x 1200 px
5” x 7”1500 x 2100 px1250 x 1750 px1000 x 1400 px
8” x 10”2400 x 3000 px2000 x 2500 px1600 x 2000 px
8.5” x 11”2550 x 3300 px2125 x 2750 px1700 x 2200 px
11” x 17”3300 x 5100 px2750 x 4250 px2200 x 3400 px

Again, if you want to create the effect of your image running off the page, first add 38px to the image or add .125″ to the image’s width and height.