Getting started... the art part

A topic that comes up frequently is the differences in types of art files suitable for printing.

Vector art vs. Raster art – what’s the difference?

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Vector art is made of hundred of thousands of lines and curves which create an image, is resolution independent and totally scaleable without loss of quality. We prefer this type of art for best results, and it's important to always convert fonts to outlines to avoid compatibility/substitution issues. If your software won't let you convert your fonts, include the font files with your artwork file. Vector file format examples are .EPS, .AI, .PDF. and .SVG.

Raster art is made of pixels, and is resolution-dependent, meaning the graphic can’t be enlarged without losing quality. If you choose to supply raster-based art, be sure to build your file at actual size you want the image to print at, and make the resolution 300dpi. Save as RGB. Raster image extension examples are .PSD, .PNG, .TIF, .JPG, .BMP.

Either way, it’s good to be sure your art is a minimum of 300 dpi at the final print size. If any images were placed in the file, include them if they are not linked. And double check that all those fonts are converted to outlines!

All about art proofs (if working with a RedBoot artist rather than using your uploaded art file): when we send art for your approval, please carefully review all the elements. For example, there are times when we may need to re-typeset some text, and your approval of the art proof means you did not see anything needing editing, and it is approved by you, to print as shown on proof.


Remember that the color proofs you are viewing are created digitally, and the appearance can vary from one monitor to another (and can be very “off” on cell phone screens, just FYI!). The final printed product can also vary slightly from the color proof due to differences between printing processes.