Raster Graphics - jpg, jpeg, gif, png, tif, tiff, bmp, psd, and sometimes pdf
Raster graphics are constructed from pixels (tiny dots or squares of color)
They are the best way to clearly reproduce photographs because the pixels in the image allow the smooth blending of colors.
When raster images are made larger, you can see the pixels. Nothing can be done to improve this. (Except make it into Vector Art)
These types of images typically need to be redesigned as vector art to be suitable for decorating promotional products, especially when spot colors are used.
Vector Graphics - eps, ai, cdr, and sometimes pdf
A vector image doesn't have any pixels, therefore it can be blown up or shrunk down to any size and it will not lose its quality.
This type of image doesn't have any pixels because it is an outline image of a raster file.
Because of this, you cannot simply rename your raster file to a vector format and expect it to convert the art.
Your raster file must be redrawn in a vector format in order to be suitable for printing on a promotional product.
The number of colors in a vector graphic can be easily increased or decreased to adjust printing budget, but they are not the best format for photographs or photo-like images with blends of color.
If you have specific fonts in your vector art that you want to print exactly on your promotional product, you MUST convert the text to outlines!
If a particular font is not installed on a computer trying to open your file, then the computer will substitute a generic font for your original font, and it completely changes the way the text would appear and print.
When you convert your font to outlines, it allows the computer to read the text as artwork, and print EXACTLY as you see it on your screen.
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS?
No worries, Promotions by Karla has a couple graphic artists that can convert your files for a minimal cost.
Contact Karla for an estimate - most basic conversions are about $20.