Raster images are created using editing programs such Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, Microsoft Paint, etc.. Photos and some clipart images that are created and saved in these programs work using tiny, 1-pixel squares to create the image by graduating both color and light/dark values, and then saving the images in a different raster format (i.e., .jpg or .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp). Depending on your program, you can see these little squares when you zoom in by more than 800%. These images are sometimes faster for loading when viewing websites and social media posts, but don’t work well in printing.
Vector images are created using line-drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator (and old Freehand). These programs create images using paths, then save as either .AI, .EPS, or .PDF. When you look close-up at an image created and saved in this manner, you will see very clean lines rather than small squares. These paths make the image very clean for our plates, are much easier to scale both larger and smaller, and result in your artwork and lettering looking more professional and easier-to-read.