When a customer provides an actual photo, what dpi setting should I use to reproduce the image for sublimation?

To figure the resolution of your file when scanning, you should factor in the size of the image as well as the final output size. As a rule, scan for a final resolution of 200-250 dpi, but there are always exceptions. The surface that you are imaging also will play a role in the final resolution; if you are sublimating to a non-porous substrate such as glossy tile or aluminum, then you’ll want the best possible resolution, but if you are outputting to garments, then the resolution can be less desirable if needed. When scanning, the larger the item to be scanned, the larger the finished size can be at higher qualities. Photoshop can help with some of the degradation in quality when images start reaching their limits. 

   —Great Dane Graphics

Dane Clement

Dane Clement

Great Dane Graphics

Dane Clement, president of Great Dane Graphics and vice president of Art and Creative Process for GroupeSTAHL, is well-known for his art expertise in computer graphics for various garment decoration techniques. He has been speaking and writing for the decorated apparel industry since 1995, and has authored artwork training books for various decoration methods such as Artwork for Vinyl Cutting, Artwork for DTG Printing, Artwork for White Toner Transfers, and T-shirt Artwork Simplified for Adobe and Corel users. For more information visit

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