Clipart: Not greater than 72dpi

A clipart company says you can’t:
“Display the Image(s) in any digital format or for any digital use at a resolution greater than 72 dpi…”

Does this mean you can’t blow the images up or you can’t shrink them? I guess it means you musn’t shrink them though I don’t understand why. I’ve tried shrinking the images by resizing or resampling in order to keep the 72 dpi, but they always end up blockier than the original for some reason.

Thanks for any tips.

What software are you using to resize them?

Irfanview and Microsoft Photo Editor. Irfanview comes out fuzzy and blocky (resample: Lanczos filter). Photo Editor is better: crisper and less obviously blocky but still not as smooth as the original in its native size.

Do you think that’s what they do mean? That you shouldn’t shrink the image? Seems odd to me.

Well, if it’s for digital use, it probably gonna be displayed at 72dpi anyway. That’s the norm. Once you print it, it becomes non-digital anyway, no matter what the dpi.

As for the quality issue, if you want, I can change the size of an image for you in Photoshop, but keep the 72dpi, and you can compare the quality with one you’ve done.

Do the images themselves come in a resolution greater than 72, or are they all 72 to begin with? If they have multiple resolutions, my guess is that they don’t want you printing the images. Apologies if you already know all of this, but 72 dpi is screen (low) resolution, which is fine for web pages and displaying on a monitor and such, but professional printing requires high resolution (300-350 dpi), though you can get away with 220 or so on a good quality inkjet. Mandating 72 limits your ability to use the images.

The general rule is that you can sample down (strip out data, e.g. 300 to 72) with no loss of quality, but you can’t sample up (add data that isn

The images don’t seem to come with any particular dpi setting.

They’re gif files so changing the resolution in any way involves decompressing and recompressing. But I just don’t think they should turn out so blocky.

The 72 dpi restriction actually applies to digital use, not print.

Forgot to add that I’m actually trying to make the images smaller, not bigger. If I resize in Open Office using the image handles, it turns out great – no blockiness. But I guess then the image is greater than 72dpi.

The 72 dpi restriction actually applies to digital use, not print. - The quote thing doesn’t seem to be working yet, but this is from joesax.

If you printed something at 72dpi, it’d look terrible. Really terrible. So the restriction, in practice, applies to both.

DPI is not affected by resizing. Only the dimensions (width/height) are. So, say an 800x600 image at 72 dpi, will still be at 72dpi if you change the dimensions. The width/height will change, the DPI won’t (unless you manualy change it when resizing).

If it looks good in Open Office, save it and then open it in Irfanview. Go to the “image size” menu command and you should see that the dimensions have changed, but the DPI hasn’t.

Alternatively, if this is a one-off thing, download a trial copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 (fully functional for 30 days) from and resize it there - Image>Image size and choose “bicubic sharper” as the engine. Just enter in the new dimensions and leave the DPI as is.

To repeat - changing the width and height only DOES NOT change the dpi.

Thanks cfiimages. I’ve realised that the problem is not the software and not the files themselves. It is simply what you say: printing at 72dpi doesn’t look very nice.

I didn’t really explain what I meant properly, though.

The images start out large, if you view them at 72ppi. If you insert them into Writer, you can change the zoom, as it were, by dragging the image handles. If you make the image a lot smaller using this method, it is like zooming out and when printed it does result in a more normal dpi figure – 300 or above.

It would be perfectly possible to print using this full resolution and convert to 72dpi for digital uses.