Have you ever emailed a file of a picture or a document that included images to a professional printing company and had the finished product appear extremely fuzzy? This very likely was due to the type of image file you used. The quality of your finished product is directly related to the file extensions of files you placed into your document. For example, an image file that has the .jpg extension after it is known as a Raster File. This type of file is made of dots or pixels. There are other commonly used extensions for Raster Files, such as .png, .gif, and .psd files. Should I not use a Raster File in my document then? In some cases this will work fine. A digital camera will produce a file with the .jpg extension, and as long as it is a high resolution file you can place it in printed pieces of various sizes and they will likely maintain their quality. Even then, there could be limitations depending on the resolution of the original image. If the photo has a low resolution you will be more limited in how much you can vary it's size in a document before the image becomes pixelated or blurry.
A Vector File on the other hand is a lot more versatile. These files are mathematically formulated using points, lines and arcs when they are created. When you resize a Vector File it reformulates and maintains its clarity. These files have extensions such as .eps, .ai, or .pdf after your file name.
The example displayed here shows how using a vector file rather than a raster file can affect the final outcome of your printed project. Using an image file with an .eps extension as opposed to one with a .jpg extension could be the difference in a clear image or a fuzzy one. You may get away with a raster image if it is on something small such as a business card. Placing this same image on a Pull Up Banner for a Tradeshow however, may not work out as well. Image quality is something you don't want to sacrifice as they leave lasting impressions.
If you are not sure if a file will work for a project that you need to have printed, then SEND US YOUR FILE so we can provide you with feedback or assistance if it is required. Remember, Image Is Everything... Together, Let's Begin To Build Your Business.