Quick and Easy Guide to Understanding Image Quality and our Rating Scale

Quick and Easy Guide to Understanding Image Quality and our Rating Scale

Posted by Sign11.com on 1 /4 /2019

If you have ever ordered from us before, you are probably familiar with the 1-5 score we provide you with when it comes to the quality of your image. We’ve gotten some feedback from our customers stating that it would be nice if we explained what this “scale” we use actually is and what it really means to have their image quality be a 3 instead of a 4 and so forth. Be confused no longer! Welcome to our Quick and Easy Guide to Image Quality and our Rating Scale!

Before we get started, here are some key terms that are important to understand when it comes to understanding the quality of an image.

Raster Files

What are they?

Image files made from many colored pixels.

What are some examples?


What do I need to know about them?

Raster files CANNOT be dramatically resized because they are made from a set number of pixels. Imagine trying to fill 5 gallon water bottle with just a cup of water. It’s simply not possible!

Vector Files

What are they?

Image files made using mathematical formulas.

What are some examples?


What do I need to know about them?

Vector files CAN be dramatically resized without losing quality.

*A PDF is generally considered a vector file. However, depending on how it was originally created, it can be considered either a vector or raster file.

Image-size/Resolution: The number of pixels in an image

Pixels: dots per inch (DPI) / pixels per inch (PPI).

Image quality: The quality of an images’ overall characteristics such as brightness, sharpness, and resolution.

Why do we use a Rating Scale?

When we provide our customers with a proof of their order, we do our best to inform them of the quality they can expect their image or design to have when it is printed onto their order. If any part of their order is blurry we provide them with an additional proof that shows them a zoomed in view of a portion of the blurry area. By doing this, we can better coordinate with the customer in order to provide them a final product that meets their standards!

How does our Rating Scale work?

Our scale is out of 5 with 5 being extremely clear for print, and 1 being extremely blurry and unacceptable for print. Please view the visual model below for an example of what each rating represents.

Remember those key terms? Here is where they will come in handy!

Given for images made entirely from vector files and are blurry free. Image quality is near perfect.Given for images that are mostly made from vector files or raster files in the required size that are in or close to 300DPIGiven for raster image files that show some amount of blur. However, from far away the blur will be hard to notice.Given for raster images that are blurry. The blurriness will be noticeable even when viewing from a great distance.Image is extremely blurry and unrecognizable.