Advice and tips on sharpening for fine art and photographic printing.

Wondering how much you should sharpen your image files before sending to us? The power is in your hands prior to the actual printing process!

At theprintspace we do not apply any sharpening during the printing stage. This allows our clients complete control over their images and the amount of sharpening applied for their individual needs and paper choice.

The amount you need to adjust depends on paper type

Each paper has its own physical properties that contribute to the overall sharpness of the printed image so a one-size box definitely doesn’t fit all.

Other labs especially mini-lab printers, apply a heavy amount of automatic sharpening during printing which we avoid as it can over-sharpen and introduce unwanted effects not visible on-screen.

It is best for clients to apply sharpening in Adobe Photoshop and check the file at 100% print size view to make sure is it adequately sharp and no digital artefacts have been introduced as a result of the sharpening process.

How to check how sharp an image should be

A cost effective way to test sharpening is do test strip, especially before committing to a large print.

Not only can you see how the overall sharpness is affected on the chosen paper it also gives clients an opportunity to inspect contrast, colour and the impact of any changes made due to resizing.

Want to get the best out of your image files?

Come into our print studio and speak to one of our advisers.

Updated on 15 February 2023

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