ARTWORK Q&A: What's the difference between vector or line art, and bitmap graphics? And why does it matter? Vector or Line Art (such as EPS, Illustrator (.ai) or Corel Draw (.cdr) files) are defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels, so they always appear at the highest resolution. They are also scalable which means that they can be increased or decreased in size and their lines will remain crisp and sharp. Vector graphics are used most often for print artwork. Vector files end in either a .eps, an .ai or .cdr format. EPS and PDF format files are capable of containing both line art and bitmap graphics. If you are unsure as to what kind of artwork a file may contain, please send it to us and we will let you know if it is acceptable. Bitmap Graphics (such as TIFFs, GIFs, BMPs, and JPEGs) are composed of little squares called pixels. When you enlarge these images, the software must guess where to put the extra pixels necessary to make it larger. The result is often an image that is slightly "fuzzy" and difficult to engrave. Bitmap images are used most often in web design and screen based artwork. Bitmap graphics usually end in .bmp, .jpg, .gif & .tif. Use of bitmap graphics to create promotional items will result in an unacceptable blurry image. In many companies, vector artwork for the logo and other elements are often available in the Marketing or Advertising department, since vector artwork is a necessary component of print advertising.
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