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Raster files (.tif, .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .psd, .pcx, etc.) are good for very complex artwork and photographs, but the disadvantage is that they are not scalable.
If you start with a small file, when you make it larger to print, you lose resolution and the resulting image will not be particularly sharp.
Raster images are made up of a series of small squares known as pixels.
The number of pixels in a raster image is fixed. If an image is 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels long, it will always be 200 pixels wide and 200 pixels long.
If you increase the size of your image, the squares just get bigger and the spaces between them are filled with "white space" or background.
This has the effect of making the image appear broken-up or "pixelated", and is especially noticeable on curves and angles.
The end result is either a very pixelated image, or an art charge for us to clean up your image or convert it to vectors.
Whenever possible, it's best to start with an image as close as possible in size to the actual output.
One of the main advantages of vector images is that they are resolution-independent. They can be resized - even drastically - with no loss of image quality.
The software simply plots the new coordinates of all the elements in the image and redraws them. Vector graphics are also easily edited - changing fills, line weights, text, etc. is relatively simple.
Most Vector programs have their own proprietary file format but will also allow you to export or "save as" a generic EPS format that can be read and interpreted by other illustration software.
If you're using a program other than Adobe Illustrator, please save your art in EPS format prior to submitting it to us.