The world of digital art files can be divided into two groups: Vector and raster.
And when it comes to choosing artwork for custom printed tape, vector is your best choice.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between the two types of art and explain why vector is the clear victor.
What’s the difference between a raster image file and a vector image file?
Raster images are made up of a grid of picture elements (pixels) that form the larger picture. As the picture is enlarged, the number of pixels per inch (ppi) goes down because the pixels are being enlarged as the image is enlarged. This can cause images and text to look jagged. With raster images, high-resolution files (at least 300ppi when the art is the size it will be printed) are key to a high-quality print. Image resolution can always be reduced if needed, but it can’t easily be increased.
Photographs and graphics online are virtually all saved as raster images, usually as files ending in .jpg, .png, and .gif.
Vector images are constructed more like drawings. The file records the amount of curvature of all the lines and filling colors of all the shapes that make up the image and the computer can then resize as big or as small as necessary with no effect on resolution. Additionally, colors can easily be separated or changed and elements moved around as necessary, unlike with raster images. Fonts are examples of vector art that the computer can enlarge to whatever size is needed without ever becoming “pixelated”. Most logos are rendered using vector-based programs like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and are saved as files usually ending in .ai, .eps, or .pdf.
We’ll always do our best to make whatever files you have come out looking their best, but vector images make that much easier to achieve.
Vector files for custom printed tape
The great thing about vector art is its scalability. We can manipulate and enlarge vector images into larger sizes and they lose none of their registration.
In other words, the same piece of art that you could put on your business card would also work on blown up on a billboard.
Vector images are done in layers so that if you’re working with multiple colors, it’s easier to manipulate them if parts of the different colors are interconnected or touching each other.
Does the type of tape I choose matter?
Artwork is artwork. It doesn’t vary from tape to tape. But as we’ve said before, if you need a printed tape that shows a lot of detail, your best bet is polypropylene tape rather than the PVC variety.
While both tapes work well with basic images and printing, polypropylene tape uses a polymer plate for its printing, making it a better choice for longer print runs with more details.
PVC tape, on the other hand, is produced using a kneaded rubber plate. As the printing process goes on, the rubber absorbs the printing ink and causes the plate to swell, making the print less defined.
Do you have an image that you want to see on a roll of custom printed tape? Contact Phoenix Tape. We’ve spent decades working with companies like yours, helping them promote their brand and protect their products at the same time.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can turn your packaging into a work of art. Just make sure you send us a vector file.