Sign in to follow this  
Hidronax

Original LEGO Stickers DPI?

Recommended Posts

Does anybody know the print resolution of the original LEGO stickers? (In DPI or PPI)
Educated guesses are welcome.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LEGO stickers are likely printed using an offset printer, which use an etched plate to transfer pigment to a substrate, similar to how pad printing works but without the pad as a middle step. Like with pad printing, this method is very economical when you want to print a run of thousands and thousands of the same image. When you just want a couple, it's super expensive. 

Because of the way the pigmnent is transfered to the substrate (sticker sheet in this case) by an etched plate, there really aren't any pixels in the image. Because of that, the answer to your question is, there are no pixels on original LEGO stickers.

However, that doesn't really matter. Pixels are a pretty bad reference for the resolution of an image once it leaves the digital realm and becomes a print. I work with high end photo printers a lot, and as long as you have at least ~300 dpi image, the resolution depends almost completely on the printer being used. This is pretty easy to tell if you make a print of the same image with different printers. a 300dpi file printed on a laser printer might look ok at long distances, but look at it closer or with a loupe and you'll notice a bunch of little dots which make up the image, not a continuous tone. Then try it with a household inkjet printer, you'll likely see a continuous tone rather than dots, but it will be kinda muddy since the ink droplets can bleed into each other. Finally, go to a local print shop and see if they have a high end photo printer they can print it on. I like the Epson models, I think the current ones are the Surecolor P6000 and Surecolor P9000. These are very fancy printers which are designed for wide format printing, but can handle small prints just as fine. The thing which makes them high end is that they use 11 ink colors rather than the standard 4, which allows for better color accuracy and definition, and they have a much finer ink droplet size, just a few picoliters usually. The tiny droplet size means you won't get droplets blending together as much, which means prints will be sharper up close. 
 

I suppose I should say that the paper also matters. regular old printer paper will allow for a lot of bleed which makes for muddy images. Photo papers, or fancier decal papers I'm guessing, will have coatings to minimize bleed and make sharper prints. Most of the nicer papers won't work for laser printing, but if you want to test inkjet printers against each other, try to use similar if not the same paper. 

This is all to say, if your file is at least 300dpi, a nice printer will make good decals/stickers from it. If you have a file of that resolution but aren't getting sharp enough prints in your opinion, either try a fancier printer, a different paper, or accept the way it is. I've made decals with waterslide decal paper and a photo printer which look good at standard distances, but don't expect to look at them with a jewelers loupe and not see discrepencies. that being said, LEGO stickers aren't perfect either, so you'll probably be able to match their quality, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.