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Rasters and Vectors and Digitize, oh my!

There are many different types of digital files used in the promotional industry. Here are some definitions and examples to help you understand the differences, and the reasons why we require certain types of files in order to complete your orders. Vectoring and Digitizing services are available to help you create or convert your images to the appropriate type of file!

File Types


Rasterized Images

Rasterized images are made up of hundreds (or thousands or millions ) of tiny squares of colour information called pixels.  The most common type of of raster image is a photograph. Rasterized images have file extensions like .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .tiff, .psd.  Other container like file extensions such as .pdf, .eps, .ai, .cdr can hold rasterized images inside of them. 

The pros of high resolution raster images are rich detail and colours. A 1"x1" image at 300dpi has 300 individual squares of colour that provide precise shading and detail in your photograph. The more dpi your image conatins, the more subtle details will be noticeable. 

The cons are that raster images become blurry and grainy when enlarged. There are a finite number of pixels in all raster images. When you enlarge the photo the computer takes it's best guess as to what specific colours should fill in the gaps. This process causes the image to appear blurry, since the computer can only estimate the missing information.

A second con is file size. A photograph 18"x24" at 300dpi will have 129,600 squares of information for the computer to process!


Vectored Images

A vector graphic uses math to draw shapes using points, lines and curves. So whereas a raster image of a 1” x  1” square at 300 dpi will have 300 individuals pieces of information, a vector image will only contain four points, one for each corner; the computer will uses math to “connect the dots” and fill in all of the missing information.


Pros of vector images are the computer simply uses the original mathematic equation to create a consistent shape every time it's scaled up or down. It is infinitely scaleable without using quality.


Because vector files don't require colour information for individual pixels, the file size is very small when compared to a rastered file.


Unlike popular raster-based formats, you can modify individual elements without affecting other objects in the image. Easy and quick to make simple adjustments to size, colours, and even shapes.


Vectoring fees start from $25.00. Large, detailed or complex designs may incur higher vectoring fees.

Vector Logo JD Colllison

Digitized Images

When a logo or artwork is "digitized" for embroidery, it is setup to get the stitches to "plot" correctly and most efficiently by the sewing machine.  An embroidery program is used to digitally plan out how the thread will go onto the item. All of the stitches, thread changes, thread trims, etc. will be set up and previewed prior to the information being sent to the machine(s).

There are different stitch types, stitch densities and lengths, and stitch directions used for different purposes that go into making artwork look and embroider best (not pucker, pull, draw up, etc.). The item material type, surface shape, and all sorts of things are taken into account when creating this file.

Each time an embroidery designed is planned out, it is created to a specified size. Adjusting the size plus or minus ten percent is sometimes possible. Any further change in size will cause these carefully planned stitches to not embroider correctly. An additional file will have to be planned out and created for each new size you require. 

Digitizing fees start from $25.00 for basic logos. Large, detailed or complex designs may incur higher digitizing fees. 

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