Is My Art File Good for Printing? Vector vs. Image Files


In the large format print business we have the same issue every day.  Customers come to us with a low res jpg or gif art file, often something they took from their website, and ask us to blow it up and print it on a tablecloth or banner.  Generally they have already been to a few printers already that told them,  “Sorry, we need vector art!”

MVP Visuals can help with most issues so you don’t have to miss out on having your favorite image printed on your trade show table cover, carpet, banner or any other large format display.

Low res jpgs and gifs are called “raster or bitmap” files.  These files are made of little pixels. Pixels are little dots (more like squares) like you see below. The quality of the image depends on the number of these pixels per inch (dpi – dots per inch)  When a low res file is kept small it looks just fine.  But when they are enlarged, each pixel gets blown up and gives the image a fuzzy (pixelating) look.

Why do I need a vector art file?

art file

Vector files are made of paths (lines and anchor points) that are more like an engineering CAD Drawing.  When this type of file is enlarged, each line is mathematically enlarged in exact proportion so there is no pixelating or distorting.  This makes vector files ideal for printers.

Unless you have a high resolution art file (this is where there are many more dots per inch in the image file so each pixel doesn’t blow up to distort the image), we would need to recreate your image into vector format. If your image is a photograph then generally it will not recreate well into vector so we would need a hi res file. You can send us your photo and we can tell you.

Vector files are most frequently .ai, .eps or even .pdf.  YOU CANNOT JUST SAVE A LOW RES JPG WITH AN .AI OR .EPS EXTENSION TO MAKE IT VECTOR. MVP Visuals offers vector recreation services and most files can be converted in 24 hours!

MVP Visuals is a supplier of custom printed displays for retail and event promotions. We feed off the power of happy customers.


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