Vector vs. Raster Artwork Formats

Knowing the difference between a “Vector” and “Raster” (aka Bitmap) image is very important.  When submitting images for engraving, make sure you send the right type of artwork file for the job. Logos/Clipart should be created in a vector based application, like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw and sent to us in a vector format.  How do I know if my image is vector or raster. This post is to help you understand each format and which one you have.

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  • Made up of points and paths using a mathematical relationship
  • Vector images CAN be resized to any size without distorting the quality of the image
  • This is the best format for laser engraving.
  • File types: AI, EPS, CDR, SVG, PDF can contain both raster and vector image


  • Made up of dots/squares called pixels which are part of a grid and filled in with color
  • High resolution images (300+ dpi) have more pixels per inch resulting in a clearer image
  • Low resolution images (72 dpi) the less pixels per inch resulting in a chunkier image
  • Raster images CANNOT be resized without losing image quality
  • Best for photography and viewing images on the web or on monitors but NOT for engraving
  • High resolution images will work great for Full Color Sublimation process.
  • Raster file types: JPEG, PNG, GIF, PSD and TIF (…just to name a few)