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Raster Image versus Vector Image

The following explains the difference between a rastor image and a vector based image.  The important point to remember is that each image is suitable for particular graphical reproduction purposes.  

Vector Image

Artwork supplied by the client or created by DDP Workshop for the purposes of say reproducing a logo to apply as a vinyl graphic or print directly onto for instance a dump bin media display should generally be produced as a vector based graphic. Imagine a series of points like a dot to dot picture. A vector based image is made up of mathematical equations which join the dots. As you enlarge the image the quality remains the same as the equation works out the best possible solution.  If you were to supply a vector based logo DDP can enlarge this to any size and the quality reproduction will be as good as the method used to print it.

Raster Images

Raster images are made up of dots. Often you hear the term DPI which stands for dots per inch. If you were to enlarge a photograph up on the computer screen you would see these dots. The higher the dpi or resolution the better the quality of image. File compression can help reduce raster image file sizes down but generally the file sizes will be large for quality high resolution rastor images. Important for repoduction. If DDP were to print for instance a photograph onto acrylic the quality of the original image supplied is vital. If you the client supplied a low resolution, low dpi image the repoduction we can achieve is only as good as your image. If DDP have to enlarge the image from a low resolution,low dpi image the quality becomes worse. In fact any raster image enlarged loses quality. Imagine a group of fine dots. Now double the size of the image and the dots/space increase in size and you begin to see a much courser looking image. Its the difference for instance between a photo in a magazine or a photo in a newspaper. The latter looks much courser as the quality of image used to produce it contains less few dots per inch.

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