Raster artwork are bitmap images used for digital printing.
Raster artwork is more like an image with gradients, meshes, textures, special effects, etc. that can't be read by a computer cutting blade because there are no lines or shapes defined for the blade to follow along and cut to shape. Raster files are usually fixed and usually can't be altered in anyway, unlike vector files, which can be manipulated because every key component is a free-standing object.
Raster artwork is primarily created in Adobe Photoshop and carries one of the following file extensions: .JPG, .TIF, .GIF, .PSD or .PDF. Raster files, when built and saved properly, in a high-resolution format are great files for strictly digital output. But the lower the quality of the raster image the worse it will print. Low quality raster images tend to be come very pixelated, choppy or blurry when blown up to large format printing sizes.
If you are supplying a raster image for digital output the file should be built to size at a resolution of at least 100-150 dpi. If supplying a file at half size to conserve on space make sure the file is built to half size and saved at 300 dpi. Following these two guidelines when submitting raster artwork guarantees a better digitally printed product.
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