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What are the different types of artwork files and why are these important?



Many clients get confused in relation to what sort of artwork is required for the various types of personalisation.  Sometimes we are able to use simple jpeg files and at other times we request "vector" artwork.  To help explain this here is some "Artwork 101"
What is a bitmap image?
A bitmap image is made up of countless tiny coloured pixels / dots set in rows and columns to create a photo realistic image or drawing.  The quality, overall size and sharpness of a bitmap image relies on the resolution (dots per inch - dpi).  Bitmaps can be either high or low resolution.  Bitmap images do not enlarge smoothly because the image has to generate/create more dots / pixels to accommodate the increased size and this exaggerates the "pixelation".  You can recognise whether an image is a bitmap file when you open the file and zoom in - the edges will appear rough or "fuzzy".
File extensions that are bitmap files are: .bmp, .gif, .png, .jpg, .psd, .tif.
Why do most decorators reject bitmap images as artwork?
Impossible to create PMS spot colour film separations.  They are time consuming to edit and they do not scale smoothly.  Artwork edges are not sharp, small type becomes blurry.  For any sort of screen printing, pad printing or engraving bitmap files are not suitable - the only exception is embroidery which can use these files.
What is a vector EPS Image?

A vector EPS image is made up of lines and curves joined together via anchor points set by mathmatical calculations.  It is not made up of dots nor can it be high or low resolution.    File extenstions that usually indicate whether the artwork is a vector file are .eps, .pdf, .ai, .cdr
(Please note: - some bitmap files can be opened and then simply "saved as" as EPS file - this does not convert them into a vector file!)
Why do most decorators prefer on Vector EPS Images?
Vector EPS images are very easy to edit, scale, crop, manipulate and apply PMS colours.  They have 100% control and freedom for preparing artwork for decorating.
Here is an example of a bitmap file (on left) vs a vector file (on right) - you can see the difference in the quality of the images.
Bitmap Vs Vector 


What if you don't have a vector file?
If you do not have your artwork in a vector file and can only supply us with a bitmap image - do not despair.  For a small charge we can "re-draw" your artwork into a Vector file.  A standard logo should take around 30 minutes to re-draw.  More involved artwork can take longer.  We charge $30.00 per half hour for this service.  The good news is that if we do this for you - you will end up with a vector file for later applications!