The 72 dpi myth

A couple of decades ago, some cruel programmer at Adobe decided it would be a funny joke to put in 72 dpi in the resize window for web images. 20 years later, we are still struggling with a large percentage of “photographers” who have no clue that dpi/ppi is irrelevant when creating output for web display. Yes I know dpi is not the same as ppi but that’s a discussion for another day. I’m using it interchangeably here because so many refer to dpi when they are talking about ppi.

I’m going to first state some facts and will go on to explain more in detail:

As it relates to web images that do not include embedded text,

  1. Dpi is irrelevant for web output.
  2. Dpi does not affect file size in any perceivable manner.
  3. Dpi does not make a web image appear more dense or make it weigh more.
  4. Dpi does not prevent or encourage image theft.
  5. Dpi does not affect colors, artifacts, compression, or noise.
  6. Dpi settings from your digital camera is irrelevant and arbitrary.
  7. Dpi expressed without inches is meaningless.
  8. 72 dpi is not better or worse for printing without knowing the inches or pixel dimensions.
  9. Dpi does not make an image load faster or slower on the web.
  10. Dpi will not make your images more fragrant, may not be used as effective contraception, and will not cure erectile dysfunction.