Can I Use This Photo? What You Need to Know for Your Brochures and Newsletters

 

You do great work. Shouldn’t you show it off? Showcasing fun, interesting, and high-quality photos in your brochures and newsletters can go a long way toward promoting AAUW in your local community.

But if you’ve put out publications before, odds are you’ve had problems with photos. If they don’t meet certain technical guidelines, they can look fuzzy. How do you know if the digital pictures you have from your latest event can be printed in an upcoming brochure or newsletter? If you’re trying to figure out what photos you can use for your print publications, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips on using the best-quality photos possible.

Best practices for photo sizes

In order for photos to print out clearly on paper, they must be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Dpi refers to the clarity of the photo; if it is not sufficient resolution and size, the image will appear fuzzy when printed. Remember: Just because an image looks clear on the computer screen doesn’t necessarily mean it will print out clearly.

As a rule of thumb, if your photo is less than a megabyte (the size will be in MB rather than KB, or kilobyte), it’s too small to use. You can usually find the file size by hovering your cursor over the image or by looking at its properties.

Another thing to remember is that when you’re downloading or sending photos from your phone or camera, choose the biggest size possible (iPhones prompt you to choose a size). The bigger the file size and the higher the resolution, the better.

If you’re scanning photos that were developed from film, make sure you scan them at 300 dpi.

Send us your photos!

We want to show off what you do in AAUW’s national publications!

If you have a great photo that is at least 300 dpi, send it our way:
E-mail it to photos@aauw.org.

We’re always looking for great photos of members at work to include in Outlook, the annual report, and other printed materials.

When sending photos, please be sure to include

  • Your name
  • The date and location of the photo
  • The name of the photographer
  • A description of what is happening in the photo

How do you know if your photos are 300 dpi or higher?

To find the dpi of your photo on PCs

  • Open the folder that contains your photo file.
  • Right click on the file name and select Properties.
  • Under the Details tab, look to horizontal and vertical resolution (should be the same number). This is the dpi.
  • If the dpi is less than 300, you will need to select another photo or use a different version of the photo, if available.

To find the dpi of your photo on Macs

  • Open your photo file in Preview (this is usually the default photo viewer on Macs).
  • Select Tools from the top menu bar.
  • Select Adjust Size.
  • In the window that pops up, you should see the width and height, as well as the resolution. If the width and height are very large (20 inches or larger) but the resolution is less than 300, uncheck Resample Image and change the resolution to 300.
  • If the width and height are less than 20 inches (when the resolution is less than 300), then you will need to select a different photo.

When you’re placing a photo that is 300 dpi in your publication, be sure to keep the width and height in mind. Enlarging a photo will reduce its dpi. If your photo is 300 dpi and 3 inches by 5 inches, for instance, you run the risk of the photo looking fuzzy if you try to make it too much larger. It’s best to stick to its original size or smaller.

Have you ruled out all of your available photos? There’s probably something available either free or close to it if you know where to look.

This post was written by AAUW Senior Graphic Designer Allison VanKanegan.


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Photo courtesy of Azlan DuPree

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