Monthly Archives: February 2018

Whats The Difference Between Raster & Vector

Computer graphics can be created as either raster or vector images.

Raster graphics are bitmaps. A bitmap is a grid of individual pixels that collectively make up an image. Raster graphics are basically images created from countless tiny squares to generate one large picture. Each square, or pixel, is coded in a specific hue or shade. Individually, these pixels are worthless. Together, they’re worth a thousand words.

Raster graphics are best used for non-line art images; specifically digitized photographs, scanned artwork or detailed graphics. Non-line art images are best represented in raster form because these typically include subtle chromatic gradations, undefined lines and shapes, and complex composition.

However, because raster images are pixel-based, they suffer a malady called image degradation. Just like photographic images that get blurry when blown up, a raster image gets jagged and rough.


Ultimately, when you look close enough, you can begin to see the individual pixels that comprise the image. Hence, your raster-based image of Wayne Newton, magnified to 1000%, becomes bit mapped. Although raster images can be scaled down more easily, smaller versions often appear less crisp or “softer” than the original.

To maximize the quality of a raster image, you must keep in mind that the raster format is resolution-specific, meaning that raster images are defined and displayed at one specific resolution. Resolution in raster graphics is measured in dpi, or dots per inch. The higher the dpi, the better the resolution. Remember also that the resolution you actually see on any output device is NOT a function of the file’s own internal specifications, but the output capacity of the DEVICE itself. Thus, high resolution images should only be used if your equipment has the capability to display them at high resolution.

Better resolution, however, comes at a price. Just as raster files are significantly larger than vector files, high resolution raster files are significantly larger than low resolution raster files. Overall, as compared to vector graphics, raster graphics are less economical, slower to display and print, less versatile and more unwieldy to work with. Remember though that some images, like photographs, are still best displayed in raster format. Common raster formats include TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PCX and BMP files. Despite its shortcomings, raster format is still the Web standard – within a few years, however, vector graphics will likely surpass raster graphics in both prevalence and popularity.

Unlike pixel-based raster images, vector graphics are based on mathematical formulas that define geometric primitives such as polygons, lines, curves, circles and rectangles. Because vector graphics are composed of true geometric primitives, they are best used to represent more structured images, like line art graphics with flat, uniform colors. Most created images (as opposed to natural images) meet these specifications, including logos, letterhead, and fonts.

Inherently, vector-based graphics are more malleable than raster images – thus, they are much more versatile, flexible and easy to use. The most obvious advantage of vector images over raster graphics is that vector images are quickly and perfectly scalable. There is no upper or lower limit for sizing vector images. Just as the rules of mathematics apply identically to computations involving two-digit numbers or two-hundred-digit numbers, the formulas that govern the rendering of vector images apply identically to graphics of any size.

Further, unlike raster graphics, vector images are not resolution-dependent. Vector images have no fixed intrinsic resolution, rather they display at the resolution capability of whatever output device (monitor, printer) is rendering them. Also, because vector graphics need not memorize the contents of millions of tiny pixels, these files tend to be considerably smaller than their raster counterparts. Overall, vector graphics are more efficient and versatile. Common vector formats include AI, EPS, CGM, WMF and PICT (Mac).

Poster & Banner Design Guide

Posters & Banners are the most affordable means of advertising and most businesses don’t have a dollar to waste. What’s more, signs are always on the job for you, advertising 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

When you are designing your sign; you should always utilize the resources of an experienced sign professional. However, if you wish to create your own design, its important to keep the following criteria in mind:


Choosing the proper Banner material is essential for lasting & durability. The right material will determine how long your sign will last; and what the look and feel of your sign is.

If you want your banner to look good for an extended period of time ( ~ 3  months or more – particularly outdoors where the banner may be subject to wear and tear); you need to make sure your banner is at least 15 mil thick. For sizes up to 5ft, order from this Banner Section. If you need a larger size (from 5ft to 16ft) you can order here.


Design your banner or poster with some kind of catch phrase and be very crisp and precise. Too much text and too many images will confuse the viewer. Make sure the message is to the point. Use proper fonts and sharp images.

Even if your poster or banner is visible, if it can’t be read by your intended audience, it has minimal impact and decreased value. Some of the things to keep in mind are the following:

  1. Letter Size. Letters that are too small to read are commonplace in many signs today. For a quick reference on what size letters are needed for your sign; examine this visibility chart taken from the research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania State and the United States Sign Council.
  2. Color & Finish Contrast. Letters that blend in with their background become illegible at moderate distances. The amount and type of lighting, both artificial and natural, is important as well to overall legibility.
  3. White/Negative Space. Simply enlarging letters does not make them more readable. Proper letter kerning (the space between letters) and leading (the space between lines of text) have almost as much to do with legibility as letter size. Maintaining a high degree of white or negative space is important to keep the letters from running together or running into other distractions around the sign.
  4. Logos. Do you have a logo that fits well with your banner or poster? Inclusion of graphical elements or a logo should complement the sign message and in most cases not overpower the entire artwork. Some logos (Such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, etc.) are strong enough brands that virtually no text is needed for their sign-however this is not typical for most business owners who need to send some message to their intended audience.


A banner or poster that cannot be seen should not be created. Identify the type of traffic your sign is meant to attract (sidewalk traffic, downtown vehicles, or highway traffic, for example) and use the proper size, color, angle, lighting, and placement for maximum visibility. Many of the decisions relating to visibility are limited by your local sign ordinances; so consult an expert for this information.

What Is The Guideline To Proof Properly?

Ok, so let’s say you’ve received a PDF Proof…what now??
Below is a checklist of items to follow:

  1. If the proof is sent by email i.e. PDF Proof, then print it out on your laser printer and then proof read it, rather than proofing on the screen. There is less chance for distractions and it is much easier to proof.
  2. Involve a friend, colleague or family member to go through the proof also. A second pair of eyes always help and you will be surprised at what he or she finds that you completely missed.
  3. Do NOT rush it. Usually mistakes are made when you rush. Unless this is a rush print job where you need to send the approval ASAP, take your time to proof read it. Proof it a second time after few hours just to make sure everything is correct.
  4. Check to make sure the Phone Numbers, Name, Address, Email and Website are correct.
  5. We do NOT check for spelling or grammatical errors in your file. So you have to make sure that your content is correct.
  6. If you’ve used transparent objects, like drop shadows, special text effects, opacities etc. then make sure to check the PDF EXTRA carefully. 90% of issues are because of this doesn’t get looked at closely. Now days PDF files can be generated by almost any application for e.g. Microsoft Word, Power Point, Adobe CS 1 to 6 Suite and many more. All of them generate PDFs in their own way. To make sure they get printed properly, we have to process your PDF file through our preflighting software. This special software makes sure that the PDF is at a certain standard for proper printing. Sometimes not everything on your file gets handled the way it should so the PDF you generated and the one we preflighted may be different. This is why its always a good idea to check the file carefully and make sure all the graphic elements, special text effects and other artwork are showing up properly in your PDF Proof.
  7. Position & Placement (for e.g. No text dropped out or missing and nothing is too close to the edge of the cut line)
  8. Pagination (e.g. – for multi-page documents, like booklets or perfect bound books we provide a digitally printed hard copy mockup since these are very important to confirm how the pages look after it has been bound.)
  9. Low Resolution images (on the screen it will look fine, but when printed they may look pixilated, due to the fact screen resolution is 72 dpi vs print is 300 dpi)
  10. Borders and Margins: Make sure they look even all around
  11. Check your file to make sure there is no text or critical art very close to the edge of the paper. There maybe a chance of that getting cut off.
  12. Color Critical: This is one of the hardest thing to do for ANY printer. If your job is color critical then you need to discuss that with us. We print to industry standard and none of our Proofing methods guarantee any kind of color accuracy. We print to Gracol G7 Standards, but colors depend on various things – Paper, Print Process and more. If your job is extremely color critical give us a call to discuss the available options.
  13. If this is version 1 of whatever you are ordering, go for a smaller quantity. That way even if you missed something after receiving the job, you can change and then place the big order.
  14. Lastly, once you are done reviewing your PDF, make sure to Approve or Reject the Proof through our online system. If this is an Online PDF Proof then you can do that online. If it is a Hard Copy Proof then follow the steps mentioned on the document when you received the Proof.

Send THANK YOU Cards To Stay In Touch With Your Customers

How do you thank your customers for giving you business? Do you simply write a small note below the invoice? Or do you feel that the quality of your service is enough to impress the customers? One thing should be said in this respect, you are not the only good service provider in your niche business there must be many more other companies. So sending an impersonal note that lacks any personal touch does not do any good to the business prospects. If you show your appreciation to the clients that will make them happy and bring you quality business which even a thousand banners can not bring. So in order to show sincere appreciation to the clients thank you cards are best tools for the businessmen.

But how can the thank you card be used effectively to meet your business needs? Lets see:

  • As A Token Of Respect: You can show respect to your clients through the simple and affordable means of a thank you card. It doesn’t take much time to list down the names of the clients and then send them a token of appreciation. It will make the customers believe that they are your treasured clients and special attention is paid to their work. They will also not think of switching from your service. Such greeting cards also create a humane picture of the company and you are identified not just by the products or services you deliver. Respecting and appreciating your client’s will be more potent than sending brochures or booklets promoting your business.
  • Personalized Cards: Do not go for flashy designs while choosing a thank you card. Write words and sentences specially for the client. You can start off by addressing the client as dear and then go on to describe his/her project type and the work that has been done. These things will make the recipient feel special.
  • Except Holiday Occasions: All the companies send thank you cards along with newsletters after an occasion. Thus this has become a common practice. Think out of the box! Send a thank you card after a a client has taken your service for a specific time period.
  • Customize the Cards: Always get the thank you cards printed from a professional printing service provider such as PrintPapa. The thank you cards are generally hung up on the walls and thus they will draw attention. Choose high quality paper while selecting the card and use customized envelopes while sending them.