About Printer ResolutionNowadays, there are several ways to “render,” or image and display, output’ printers, monitors, tablets, and smartphones (and I’m sure I’ve left a few out). In one way or another, they all gauge output density with some sort of resolution measurement, such as dots per inch(dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). Typically, though, we use dpi when referring toprinted resolution, and when we use ppi, we’re talking about image, or display, resolution.

It’s also important to point out that laser-class printers turn out entirely different size and shaped dots than do their inkjet counterparts. For example, a good, appropriately configured laser printer’s output is so clean, in terms of screen frequency and halftones, that you can (theoretically) use it as camera-ready art, i.e.color separations, for reproduction on a printing press. (However, most designers would use the laser output for proofing, and then go one step further and output the color separations to film for printing on a high-end, high-resolution imaging, or typesetting, machine.)

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Bitmap Graphics – Digital Rubber StampsRaster graphics (also called “bitmapped,” or “bitmap,” graphics) are created in bitmap editors, or paint programs, such as Adobe Photoshop. Nowadays, however, most paint-type programs are referred to as image-editing, photograph touch-up, or digital darkroom software. Granted, most of them have become much more adept at photograph enhancement, but no matter what you call them, they’re still bitmap editors.

Vector graphics have several advantages over bitmap graphics. Bitmapped graphics consist of grids of dots in fixed patterns and print in blobs, much like a rubber stamp. Each dot is programmed into a computer file. If a graphic contains a lot of grayscale or color information, the file can be gigantic and take a while to print. It takes a lot of data to recreate a large color photo. Depending on the image itself, bitmapped graphics can also lack some of the aesthetically valuable features offered by vector formats. They do not. for example, reproduce curved and fine lines or text nearly as well. Nor are they as flexible in  creating intricate shadings and certain special effects.

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Scalable Resolutions with Vector GraphicsDrawing programs—such as Adobe Illustrator—are used to create vector graphics, often sometimes called vectordrawings. Vector graphics are drawn mathematically, using lines and curves, rather than the fixed dots used in bitmaps. The Immediate advantage of this format is that the files are generally much smaller than bitmap images, and therefore don’t take as long to print. But the advantages are much greater than that…

First, though, let’s talk a little more about what vector graphics are. At one time there were several vector “draw” programs, but the only real survivor on the professional graphics software side is Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator’s AI file format is essentially Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), a very versatile printer language used primarily in laser proofing machines, imagesetters, and printing presses.

Unlike bitmap images, such as BMP, GIF, JPEG, and PNG, vector graphics don’t consist of groups of dots. Instead, vector graphics are made up of Bézier paths. Paths are defined by a start and end point, along with several other points (also known as Bézier curves), and angles along the way. Paths can be lines, squares, triangles, or…well, squiggly shapes. Paths can be used to create the simplest of drawings or the most complex of diagrams. Paths can also be used to define the characters of particular typefaces.

Read the entire review at About.com.

About Printer ResolutionNowadays, there are several ways to “render,” or image and display, output— printers, monitors, tablets, and smartphones (and I’m sure I’ve left a few out). In one way or another, they all gauge output density with some sort of resolution measurement, such as dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). Typically, though, we use dpi when referring to printed resolution, and when we use ppi, we’re talking about image, or display, resolution.

It’s also important to point out that laser-class printers turn out entirely different size and shaped dots than do their inkjet counterparts. For example, a good, appropriately configured laser printer’s output is so clean, in terms of screen frequency and halftones, that you can (theoretically) use it as camera-ready art, i.e.color separations, for reproduction on a printing press. (However, most designers would use the laser output for proofing, and then go one step further and output the color separations to film for printing on a high-end, high-resolution imaging, or typesetting, machine.)

Read the entire article at About.com.