Unless you’re a graphic designer, you’re likely not too familiar with Vector and Raster images. However, if you’re looking to print photos, boxes, brochures, etc., it’s important to understand these images to choose the one that will provide you with the best results for your project. 

What Are Vector Images and How Do They Work?

Vector images are typically produced by design software and consist of paths and curves that are dictated by mathematical data. This means that when you zoom in on a Vector image, everything remains smooth no matter how close you get. Since Vector images are made up of an algorithm, they come with smaller file sizes. 

What Are Raster Images and How Do They Work? 

Raster images typically come from cameras using pixel data. This means that when you zoom in on a Raster image, you can see the pixels, and the image becomes more blurry. 

However, Raster images with higher dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI) is more detailed and less blurry but takes up more file space. 

Vector vs. Raster: Compare and Contrast

Let’s compare and contrast their qualities so that you can gain a better understanding of the differences between the two formats: 

Vector

  • Vector images have a scalable resolution
  • Vector images come with smooth and continuous lines
  • Vector images come with small file sizes
  • Vector images come in EPS, SVG, and AI file formats
  • Vector images require Vector-based software like Adobe Illustrator
  • Vector images cost less compared to Raster images

Raster

  • Raster images have a pixelated resolution
  • Raster images typically come with large file sizes
  • Raster images come in BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF file formats
  • Raster images require a Raster-based software like Adobe Photoshop
  • Raster images come from digital cameras and scanned images
  • Raster images cost more compared to Vector images

Which One to Choose? 

The choice between Vector and Raster really depends on the context of your project. For example, if you’re looking to print high-quality photographs and other print materials, then you should use a Raster image that is made up of square-shaped pixels that show detail and color gradients.

On the other hand, Vector tends to be the right choice for other types of projects, including but not limited to:

  • Fonts 
  • Logos
  • T-shirts
  • Patches
  • Computer animation
  • Digital printing on things like business cards and billboards

Vector is also ideal for prints that contain geometric shapes and images. 

How to Convert?

If your file is in the wrong format, you can convert your image from Vector to Raster and vice versa. Here’s what you need to do: 

Vector to Raster

It’s extremely important to know how to convert Vector images into Raster images as this is the type of image you’re typically going to use for high-quality prints. Thankfully, converting Vector to Raster is pretty straightforward in most editing programs.

For example, if you’re using Adobe Illustrator, you’ll need to go to “File,” “Export,” “Export As,” and choose between a JPG, PNG, or TIFF file. 

Raster to Vector

Knowing how to convert from Raster to Vector isn’t as important, but this knowledge might prove to be useful at some point. 

Again, the process is easy if you have an editing program like Adobe Illustrator. In Adobe Illustrator, you’ll need to open a new file and place the image you want to convert onto an artboard by pressing “Shift + Command + P.”

Once the image has been placed, open up the Image Trace panel by navigating to “Window,” “Image Trace.” Within the Image Trace Panel, set the Mode to “Color” and the Colors to “30” before hitting “Trace.” 

The final step in the conversion process involves expanding the resulting image by going to “Object” and “Expand.”

However, if you don’t have access to an editing program, there are online tools that you can use to convert your image from Raster to Vector. 

Using these tools might be easier than using an editing program since some are as simple as dragging and dropping an image. Some examples of these tools include Vectorizer and Vector Magic. 

So if you need a quick and easy conversion with no software necessary, definitely check out these websites. 

How to Get the Best Looking Prints

  1. Start with a good image
  2. Choose the right paper
  3. Check your colors
  4. Use high-definition printing
  5. Work with professionals

Now that you’re familiar with both Vector and Raster images, let’s talk about how you can use them to get the best looking prints in just five easy steps: 

Step 1: Start With a Good Image

To get the best-looking prints, you need to start out with a good image, which means images taken with an old camera phone aren’t ideal. 

So whether you’re using a camera or design software, make sure that your image has a high resolution of at least 300 DPI

To check the resolution of your image before printing, navigate to the image in the files on your computer, right-click on it, and select “Properties” for Windows or “Get Info” for Mac. 

Step 2: Choose the Right Paper

Now that you have a good image, you need to make sure that it will print properly on your paper. With Box Genie, there are three paper options to choose from: 

  • Kraft: A natural brown paper
  • Essential White: A low-shine white paper 
  • Magic White: A premium glossy white paper

If you’re looking for the best quality prints, then Magic White paper is the best choice. When you use Magic White paper, you’re able to get photo-quality high-definition printing on your cardboard box thanks to these top of the line qualities:

  • Tiny targeted ink dots that produce crisp imagery and text
  • Prints with just a single pass of the printer
  • Smooth finish that acts as the perfect canvas

Step 3: Check Your Colors

When choosing your paper, you also need to consider the colors in your images, as some types of paper hold certain colors better than others. Take Kraft paper, for example. Since Kraft is a darker paper, it’s able to hold darker colors well. However, you’re not able to use white ink on this material. Both Essential White and Magic White will work with all colors, although Magic White can vibrantly hold colors. 

Additionally, you need to check to ensure that your colors are in the right format. If you’re looking for high-quality prints, your images should be using “CMYK” colors that stand for cyan, magenta, yellow, and “key” or black. RGB is the alternative and stands for red, green, and blue. RGB is ideal for digital media designs, but it’s not well-suited for physical printing, which is why your image needs to use CMYK colors for the best results. 

Step 4: Use High Definition Printing

A high-quality image and glossy paper won’t mean much if you’re not also using high-definition printing for your images. High definition printing is a revolutionary printing method that companies like Box Genie use to produce photo-quality graphics. 

The process is quick, easy, and flawless, with no printing plates. 

Step 5: Work With Professionals

If you’re looking to take your packaging design and printing to the next level, then you need to work with the professionals at Box Genie. 

Box Genie offers a wide range of products to choose from, and you can even order samples before submitting a large order. When you do submit a large order, Box Genie offers volume discounts in addition to price matching.

From there, Box Genie does all the work in-house to provide you with your perfect custom boxes. 

Thanks to fast processing and stateside production, Box Genie can offer quick turnaround times of around two weeks from order to receipt. 

How to Print a Box With Box Genie

  1. Choose your box
  2. Make your selections
  3. Design your box

Box Genie makes it easy to design and print your high-quality custom boxes. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Choose Your Box

Box Genie offers four different types of boxes to choose from:

  • Custom mailer box: Hop on the custom mailer box trend that’s taken the ecommerce and subscription industries by storm 
  • One-piece folder box: Prioritize quick and easy assembly with a one-piece folder box that’s ideal for shipping flat items like books and artwork
  • Shipping box: Take your classic shipping box to the next level with custom sizing, paper, and printing options to achieve the perfect fit for your products
  • Triangle document mailer: Better than your traditional document mailer, this box features a clever triangle design that’s able to offer a high level of protection to its contents

Step 2: Make Your Selections

Once you’ve chosen your box, it’s time to make your paper, printing, size, and quantity selections. 

Choose between Kraft, Essential White, and Magic White paper. Next, choose between one-sided printing on the outside, one-sided printing on the inside, and two-sided printing. 

After that, customize your box size based on your exact measurements, keeping in mind that Box Genie rounds up interior dimensions to the nearest ¼”. 

Finally, select your quantity of boxes to get your final price — keeping in mind that the more boxes you order, the less you’ll pay per unit. 

Step 3: Design Your Box

Box Genie makes it easy to design your box yourself. However, if you have already created a design for your box, you can simply send it in after ordering. 

Conclusion

As you can see, Vector and Raster images are useful in different ways. For the best results on your custom Box Genie boxes, ask for Vector images for a high-quality and smooth appearance that’s anything but pixelated. 


Sources:

Vector vs Raster Graphics | GeeksforGeeks

The best free Adobe Illustrator vector alternatives in 2022 | TechRadar

What is hi-res? | TechSmith

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