What You Need to Know When Looking for an Image for Your Custom Project
Choosing an image for your next custom digital mural can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first custom project. There are many different aspects to consider in order to achieve a high-quality printed image. In this article, we’ll touch on some of the most important aspects, such as the size of your image, the file type, selecting images suitable for the wall shape and size, and where you can find suitable images.
What Size Should My Image Be?
The size of the image can greatly impact the quality of the final digital print. An image that’s too small or has a low resolution can result in a low-quality, blurry image once printed. For bitmap (raster) images (such as .jpg), the ideal size is 1,000 pixels x 1,000 pixels per square meter. In cases where this isn’t possible, the largest possible size of the image will suffice as long as it has a DPI of 300.
If you are using a vector file, then you’re in luck - the size of the image doesn’t matter! Vector images can be scaled up or down without any loss in quality (to learn more about vector versus raster or bitmap images, be sure to check out our other guide, All You Need To Know About Vector Images).
These are the general guidelines for image sizes, but if you are still unsure whether or not your image will work for a digitally printed mural, feel free to contact us!
How Will The Image Look On The Wall?
In addition to the size of the actual image and its file type, how the image will be displayed on the walls is another key feature to keep in mind. Consider how it will work for your design project – what is the overall size of the walls? What is its orientation? Let’s briefly take a look at some of the most common wall shapes.
Walls with an equal height and length (e.g. 8’ by 8’) work best with images that have a similar square or equal ratio. These types of images will make the best use of the square shape, covering the full expanse of the wall to create a complete look. While you technically can use images that have a portrait or landscape orientation, you do run the risk of having to crop out sections of your image in order to accommodate the square shape of the wall.
Walls with a Portrait Orientation:
Walls with a portrait orientation have a longer height compared to its shorter length (e.g. 12’ in height, 5’ in length). Images that have a more vertical orientation will work best for these types of walls since the height of the walls will allow the image to truly breathe and be represented in its entirety. Some example of digital images in our own collection that would work best on portrait-oriented walls include urban murals of towers or other landmarks, and nature-themed imagery of tall trees.
Walls with a Landscape Orientation:
Perhaps the most common wall shape, walls with a landscape orientation are the opposite, having a longer length compared to a shorter height (e.g. 9’ in height, 15’ in length). Images with a rectangular or horizontal ratio are best suited for walls with a landscape orientation. Some examples of images include city skylines that offer a wide view.
Extremely Narrow Walls and Other Irregular Shaped Walls:
Just because your project includes a really narrow wall or an oddly shaped wall doesn’t mean digital murals are out of the question. It just means you’ll have to get a bit creative in terms of what type of images you want to print. One easy way to decorate narrow/irregular shaped walls is to concentrate on using repeating imagery so that no part of the pattern is unintentionally “cut off” or hidden (repeating patterns work just fine on all wall types, making them very flexible). Consider image themes that are more versatile, such as abstract imagery, faux effects (like brick, concrete, and wood), geometric, and floral.
However, our digital prints are truly flexible in nature. Our mural experts will always work with you to adapt your image into a suitable design for your wall - whatever the shape, size, or application may be.
Where to Source Your Images
When selecting an image for your custom project, there are many different sources to consider. Let’s briefly go over some of the main categories.
Finding Images Online:
One of the easiest ways to find an image for your digital mural is to simply look online. There are many websites that offer stock images, whether it’s photographs or vectors. Some popular sites include Shutterstock, Getty Images, iStockPhoto, and Adobe Stock. Before purchasing images online, the important thing to keep in mind is the overall dimension of the image and whether or not it will work with a digital mural. As mentioned before, vector images can scale up to any size without any loss in quality – the same can’t be said about raster/bitmap images.
For a truly one-of-a-kind look, hiring a professional photographer is the best route. This ensures that the image you use for your digital mural is completely original to your design project. In addition, by hiring a photographer you’ll be a part of the process and will be able to discuss exactly what type of image you’re looking for. This is an excellent option for designers who want to have more control over the image they’ll be using for their custom project.
Prime Walls Can Help Too!
If you have an overall idea of the type of image you want to use for your custom project but you’re unsure of where to start looking or if you’re having trouble finding the right one online, Prime Walls can help! Our in-house designers are familiar with the process of image selection and will work with you to create the very best custom mural for your residential or commercial project.