Photoshop Tip: What are PPI and PPCM?

Written By Paul Changion Senior On 19 May 2016

When should I use the PPI and PPCM image size setting in Photoshop?

The short answer is never!

We receive a lot of calls from confused clients when it comes to image settings in their editing software. For those of you that are technically minded, read this article and this article. For the rest of you, it’s simple really, this is what you need to know:

1. PPI stands for pixels per inch and PPCM stands for pixels per centimeter in PhotoShop
2. These are measurements of the resolution or pixel density of your screen and become useful when talking about the size and quality of a printed image
3. At PrintWild we ask for 300ppi images at the desired print dimensions that you would like, although when this is not possible we get unbelievable prints out of files submitted as low as 150ppi (this is not acceptable for less forgiving mediums such as high-quality acrylic prints)
4. 150 pixels per inch is around 60 pixels per cm and 300 pixels per inch works out at around 100 pixels per cm
5. What happens is we end up getting 300ppcm files that are huge i.e. around 500ppi, this unnecessarily large file takes longer to upload, is often incorrectly sized to those settings which don’t result in the best version of the original image

The takeaway here is, be aware of the difference between these 2 options, choose PPI as your Photoshop default and submit files min 150ppi (preferably 300ppi) when working with PrintWild. If this is mumbo-jumbo to you then just submit whatever you have and we’ll take over from there, you’ll get a call from us if we feel your image is not high resolution enough for your chosen printed product.

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 086 999 0233 and the designers in pre-production will be happy to chat further about your image quality or size queries.

Until then, keep it simple!