What determines the image quality?
"Image quality" typically refers to the image resolution in the given size.
The overall quality is determined by the quality of the pixels, not the number of them. Our usual recommendation is 300 dots per inch (DPI). That being said, it should be kept in mind that the resolution can be increased artificially, so DPI alone does not guarantee good image quality.
If you’re creating a design from scratch, it is always best to create a high resolution version in a large size, which can be scaled down if necessary. However, the same can’t be done when scaling up a small-sized JPG/PNG file - the file quality will suffer.
Printify has added specific file requirements for each design area of a product, which you can find in our Mockup Generator side panel:
Is it possible to improve the quality of my design?
The short answer is - it depends on the design.
If you are using a vector-based image file, the design can be rescaled within the design software without losing its definition, before exporting as an image file.
If it’s a simple design that is visually blurry, vectorizing it might help. However, when it comes to more complex designs, you are limited to the following options:
Scale it down
Recreate the design from scratch in better quality (or hire someone to do this)
Use a different design
Please note: If the file resolution has been artificially increased, it won’t make the pixels any clearer or crisper. It will simply change the number without having any effect on the quality of the design, and the print outcome won't be desirable.
Consider trying out our integration with Shutterstock, which offers more than 300 million high-quality images to choose from.
If you'd like to recreate your design from scratch, you are definitely not limited to Adobe Photoshop or other expensive software. There are several browser-based image editors available, such as Pixlr, Photopea and Canva. You may also want to check out GIMP, which is a free and open-source image editor program.
If your design file contains only text, try our built-in Text Editor and recreate it that way.
When it comes to getting more designs for free - here's our blog article on free resources for designs, and where to find them.