Frequently Asked Questions
This is where you will find the answers to some of the common questions we are asked and also some definitions of various acronyms and terms used in the graphics industry. Please feel free to email through any corrections to errors that you may find as this site by no means claims to be the final answer.
Resolution is a measurement of the output quality of an image, usually in terms of samples, pixels, dots, or lines per inch. The terminology varies according to the intended output device. PPI (pixels per inch) refers to screen resolution, DPI (dots per inch) refers to print resolution, SPI (samples per inch) refers to scanning resolution, and LPI (lines per inch) refers to halftone resolution. Often images are referred to as high resolution (hi-res) or low resolution (low-res). High resolution would be an image intended for print, generally having 300 samples per inch or more. Low resolution refers to images only intended for screen display, generally having 100 pixels per inch or less.
A vector image is one of the two major graphic types (the other being bitmap). Vector graphics are made up of many individual objects. Each of these objects can be defined by mathematical statements and has individual properties assigned to it such as colour, fill, and outline. Vector graphics are resolution independent because they can be output to the highest quality at any scale. Software used to create vector graphics is sometimes referred to as object-based editing software. Common vector formats include AI (Adobe Illustrator), CDR (CorelDRAW), CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile), SWF (Shockwave Flash), and DXF (AutoCAD and other CAD software). Vector graphics tend to have much smaller file sizes than raster-based bitmaps.
A bitmap (or raster) image is one of the two major graphic types (the other being vector ). Bitmap-based images are comprised of pixels in a grid. Each pixel or "bit" in the image contains information about the colour to be displayed. Bitmap images have a fixed resolution and cannot be resized without losing image quality. Common bitmap-based formats are JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, PICT, and BMP. Most bitmap images can be converted to other bitmap-based formats very easily. Bitmap images tend to have much large file sizes than vector graphics and they are often compressed to reduce their size. Although many graphics formats are bitmap-based, bitmap (BMP) is also a graphic format.
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