A Vector file is an Adobe product file format, such as .pdf (Acrobat), .ai (Illustrator), psd (Photoshop), .eps (works across all Adobe products), etc.

 A Bitmap file is normally what you would see in Microsoft products such as Word and Publisher, such as .bmp, .png, .jpg and so on.

Often, a client will be their own designer, but creates art in a Bitmap format. Unfortunately, that can be compared to a professional baseball player showing up with an aluminum softball bat. In this baseball scenario, the result is obvious, but how does that relate to graphic art? Well, an aluminum bat might hit the ball but it is just not the right tool for the job, and the same applies to graphic software products.

The big deal is this: you cannot enlarge Bitmap files without ruining the graphic quality of the work, whereas you can enlarge Vector files as large you need them to be with absolutely no negative impact.

That said, a printer should not be expected to print quality product if Bitmap artwork has been provided, especially if the artwork needs to be altered in any way.

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