On most microstocks you can buy an image for different amounts of money depending on its size. Difference between minimal and maximal rates can be huge: if minimal size costs $1, rate for maximal size can reach $25. Which of the two options do you need? Or maybe something average for $10 will be perfect for you?
To answer these questions one should define in what way the image or the illustration will be used.
– If the image is going to be used in blog or on a website, the minimal size or the next to minimal option will suit you best. Image for $1 is exactly what you need.
– If the images are going to be printed in a book, a magazine or a brochure, medium ones will be perfect for you.
– If the images are going to be printed in large format, you should buy images of maximal size.
– If you do not need the whole image but only one of its elements, to be on the safe side, it is better for you to buy image of larger size. In such case upon cutting out the required element it will be large enough for quality application.
Of course, we have mentioned not all the possible variants. However, based on this information you can always make sound right decision in your specific case.
It should be noted that if you buy an image by subscription with fixed image price regardless of its size, you should always download the image in maximal size. If necessary, you can easily reduce it to the required size, but you will not be able to enlarge the image without quality loss.
What is dpi?
On some microstocks next to description of the image size in pixels, inches or centimeters you can find such remarks as “72 dpi” or “300 dpi”. “72 dpi” is always written next to the smallest sizes, while “300 dpi” can be seen next to medium and large ones. What does it mean?
You do not have to dig into technical detail, just remember a simple principle. If it is indicated “72 dpi” near the file, it means that this size is designated for electronic use (for example, for publications on websites). If it says “300 dpi”, it means that this size will do for both electronic use and printing.
If the image is going to be printed, buy the file of the size with “300 dpi” written next to it. If there is no dpi value indicated on the photo stock and you need the royalty free image to be printed, you should buy medium or maximal sizes.