Raster vs. Vector Artwork

A common question we get at Perfect Imprintsis one concerning raster vs. vector for artwork.  If you have an artist at your organization, he or she would know this, but the average Joe certainly doesn’t normally know this.  Raster artwork is created with pixels such as photographs and very detailed images; however, the downside to raster artwork is that if enlarged, it will pixelate and become distorted.  Raster artwork should be created at a resolution of 300 dpi for the highest quality.  If the art will need to be enlarged, the resolution should be higher.  For example:  a 600 dpi photo that is 3″ x 3″ can be enlarged to 6″ x 6″ which, if you removed the restraints,  would reduce the resolution to 300 dpi and it would still be good for printing.  Anything less than 300 dpi may appear pixelated and be blurry or distorted.  If a file is created at a low resolution such as images from webpages, changing the dpi to 300 is not going to make your image print ready.  As long as raster artwork is sized appropriately for the imprint area, it will make for a nice clean imprint.  Examples of programs that create raster images would be Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint.  These are the preferred programs for full color printing of photographs and images.  Examples of these files would be a .tif, .jpg, or .psd (Photoshop File).

Vector artwork, on the other hand, is artwork created with vector-based graphics programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw which create the graphics based on flat line art.  Therefore, vector artwork can be scaled infinitely without being distorted.  This is the preferred artwork when size alterations have to be made. 

At Perfect Imprints, we can assist you with any artwork needs because we have in-house graphic artists.  If you can’t create acceptable camera ready artwork, we can, and we offer this service FREE.  Our free art services can save you $50-$100 on every order.

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