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What Is DPI And What Does It Mean For Your Barcodes?

Ever wondered why when you printed something at work, it came out all blurry? It looked fine on the screen, so why did it print out as if it were a muddled up Pablo Picasso painting? Whether you knew it or not, this was probably your first lesson in DPI – dots per inch. In this post, we explain DPI, and what it means for your barcodes, with a little help from the team at Barcode Labels.

What is DPI?

DPI stands for dots per inch. It’s used to measure the resolution of an image both on screen and in print. DPI measures how many dots fit into a linear inch – this means that the higher the DPI, the more detail can be shown in an image.

DPI is a print measurement. It doesn’t exist for an image until it’s printed on a physical piece of material. When DPI is used for print, the standard is 300DPI, as it presents the best quality image.

Calculating DPI

If you’ve ever printed something that has a high resolution, but it still came out blurry, then it’s almost always a case of low DPI. The formula to working out the DPI is this:

  • Width in pixels of the long side of the image, divided by inches of the long side of the printing material you’re using.

Let’s say you’ve got an image which is 1200 x 800px and you’re printing it on a piece of material which is 4×6” large. Calculate the long side of the image, which is 1200, divided by the long side of the printing material, which is 6. This equals 200, meaning your printed image will be 200DPI.

DPI and barcodes

Obviously, the higher the DPI, the better quality your barcodes will be. This makes your barcodes easy to scan and, therefore, makes processes highly efficient.

Low DPI barcodes, on the other hand, are more trouble than what they’re worth. They can cost a business a lot of time due to scanners not picking up the barcode the first time. Not only is this frustrating for any worker, but it’s actually costing your business money as it’s reducing the efficiency of your processes.

What’s the correct DPI for barcodes

There are a few correct DPI levels for barcodes. On a high quality, professional barcode printer, you should be able to choose between 406, 300 and 203 DPI. 406 DPI is obviously a very high resolution barcode, and 203 DPI is on the lower side of the spectrum, but still perfectly good quality for a scanner to register.

Printers from Barcode Labels

There are a range of high quality, professional barcode label printers available at Barcode Labels. From high performance industrial printers that can produce 5,000 to 10,000 labels per day, to incredibly practical mobile printers, the team at Barcode Labels can set your business up with the perfect barcode printing solution. All of their printers are capable of printing labels at the optimum DPI. Get in touch with Barcode Labels to discuss your options today.

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