Artwork Terms

Vector Artwork

Artwork that stores geometric information about shapes and lines called vectors. They can be scaled easily without producing the stair-step edges you will see on pixel based (raster) images. They adapt to the resolution of any output device and are considered to be resolution independent. They are generally produced by programs like Adobe® Illustrator®, and CorelDRAW®.

Raster Artwork

Artwork and images that are defined by a grid pattern of pixels or dots, similar to if you were to view a newspaper photograph under magnification. Raster images are dependent on the number of original pixels and cannot be enlarged without producing noticeably jagged, stair-stepped edges. They are produced by digital cameras, scanners, and can also be created by programs like Adobe PhotoShop® and CorelPHOTO-PAINT® (among others).

Spot Color

Solid, generally flat fields of color. Used for silkscreening where a printer can lay down several solid areas of color to produce multi-colored artwork; also used to identify additional colors in a four-color process file or print job.

Color Space

Refers to the use of color in an imprint or graphic file. Defined for our purposes as spot color, no color, RGB or CMYK.


Colors defined using a combination of three colors—red, green and blue—to produce millions of other colors.


Colors defined using a combination of four colors—cyan, magenta, yellow and black— to produce millions of other colors; often referred to as four-color process.


The number of pixels or dots used to represent a raster image. Described in PPI (pixels per inch) or DPI (dots per inch). Low-resolution images may be as low as 72 dpi (or less). High-resolution images may be as high as 600 dpi (or more).

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