The Printed Electronic Label

There are several kinds of security labels on the market today, and they all have their purpose, but a new type of security label is already making waves. Also known as the printed memory label, this new product was invented to protect the products that governments and businesses distribute.

The printed memory label not only stores information about a product’s condition and authenticity, but it can also collect information about how the labelled product was handled during the distribution process. Then, the information can be collected, viewed and used to increase the quality and security of products.

How the Printed Memory Label works

This high-security label uses rewritable memory. Currently, the label can contain up to 36 bits of memory capable of storing up to 68 billion points of data in as many combinations. This type of label, when placed on a product like a water filtering system, can alert the user when it’s time to change the filter. In the medical industry, the memory label can tell an equipment user whether all of the parts in a medical device are compliant.

The memory label is made by printing micro-circuits on a thin film plastic containing adhesive. The label is applied in the same way any adhesive label would be.

What Product Information Do Memory Labels Contain?

Businesses are using memory labels to protect their brand. This is because the labels contain formation about expiration dates, lot and geographic codes as well as serial numbers. All of this is information that can thwart attempts to counterfeit a business’s products.

Memory Labels vs. RFID and Silicon

Although RFID and Silicon represent two very secure means of label technology, the fact remains that they are also two of the more expensive measures available. As well, these and their hologram and invisible ink counterparts are able to be copied.

As well, because memory labels are printed, their cost to produce is significantly lower than it is to manufacture RFID tags, silicon labels or holographic images.

Finally, systems like RFID require the installation and implementation of a company-wide system so that products can be tracked as they move through various departments. Memory labels are self-contained and require no system to be implemented before a company can begin using them.

Additional Security

Memory labels are also available with a cryptographic feature. This feature enhances security by combining the printed memory with other security label forms like QR or bar codes. These codes, unique to each label are encrypted, readable only by a special reader. Authorised personnel use a secure smartphone application to read the information stored in the label.

Where Memory Labels can be used

The applications for which memory labels can be used are numerous. They can be used for the tracking of products across long distances. The pharmaceutical industry can use memory labels to ensure the safety and integrity of the products they manufacture and ship. Government agencies can use these labels to secure tax and duty stamps.

Basically, the memory labels allows for the integrity of most any product to be assured from the moment it leaves the factory or warehouse until the moment it reaches the customer. Even after a product reaches the customer, the label can collect information about how that product is being used.

Although this kind of security label has just recently gone into production – toward the end of 2015, to be exact – it is poised to create several changes in the way in which information is collected, stored and communicated to users. In the meantime, there are several types of security labelling available to businesses which offer various levels of security for virtually any product.

Successful Sheet Label Printing

Although the premise of printing A4 sheet labels may seem simple, there are a few potential areas where doing so involves much more than simply inserting your label sheets into your printer. The following tips can help you ensure that your sheet label printing is successful, regardless of when or how often you print.

Printer Ability

Whilst it may seem like a strange question, it’s important to know whether or not your printer is actually capable of printing your labels for you. You will find that every type of label is different. Not only that, but sometimes, only one or two types of label materials will work with a specific printer.

Label Temperature

Believe it or not, the temperature of your label sheets will make a difference to the print quality you get. Most inkjet labels are packaged in plastic bags before being boxed. Once you remove the bag with your labels, we recommend that they be left to sit for between 4 and 6 hours before being used for printing.

In allowing labels to reach room temperature, you can actually improve the print quality of your labels. When your labels are at room temperature, they will be much more likely to properly absorb the ink from printing. Non-paper labels, such as those made from polyester will only require one hour of sitting in their plastic bag.

Alignment and Feeding

Any time you plan to print a stack of labels at home, you’ll want to make sure they’re aligned properly. This can easily be achieved by simply knocking the stack’s edges on a flat surface.

When it’s time to actually feed the sheets into your printer, the trick is not to over-feed them. Doing so can cause sheets to jam, resulting in ink, time and money being wasted. Instead, test your printer’s capacity for numbers of sheets by using scrap paper of similar thickness to your label sheets.

You will find that the travel time of your labels from feed to finish tray can be drastically reduced by opting for the manual feed or bypass tray if your printer, if it has one of these. Doing this will also increase the accuracy of printing, another benefit.

Templates and Adjustments

Each type of label has its own printing template, which can make printing your labels effortless. However, you should be aware that the tolerance of your printer can affect the alignment of your labels, despite having a template. Where this is the case, the manual that came with your printer can give you some clues about printer tolerance.

If you find that printer tolerance is a problem, you can correct this by looking at the positioning of documents in your printer software. You will need to adjust the margins on all sides to fix this issue.

Don’t Commit Right Away

The most important thing to do before committing to printing all of the labels you need is to do a trial print. Printing only one or two sheets at the outset will help you to ensure that all of the elements of your labels are where they should be, and that everything prints within the margins of each individual label. And the other benefit is that it will give you the chance to proofread your labels and ensure that everything is spelled correctly.

After you print

Once your print run has finished, remember not to leave your blank labels out. In order to ensure the same quality of adhesion the next time you need them, any unused labels should be placed back into their plastic bag and stored at room temperature if possible.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

RFID System Options for Optimal Asset Management

When you need to ensure the security of your assets from beginning to end, as well as replace stock, RFID security labels can be the ideal solution. But there are many configurations within the RFID realm to choose from. And each will offer a different level of increased efficiency to your business. If your business already uses base measures for asset management such as manual data entry or bar codes, the addition of an RFID system can provide significant benefits.

The Barcode System

But before even that, a system consisting completely of bar codes can be a good way to get used to a system of any kind. Usually, this solution is used in conjunction with a mobile reader for the quick, accurate and simple identification of assets. The bar code system works because it allows personnel to know which assets have and have not been processed. As well, an historical record of assets can be kept with a bar code system, which is capable of storing notes about products.

Mobile Reader RFID Systems

RFID security labels able to be read by a mobile reader is the ideal next step for businesses who have traditionally employed an all barcode solution. There are several benefits to the mobile reader RFID system, not the least of which is the fact that assets can be identified faster.

Items can also be identified if they are located outside the line of sight of the reader, something which can offer varying amounts of benefit, depending on the individual needs of a business who has decided to employ this system.

When switching from an all barcode to mobile RFID solution, a business should be ready for the increased cost for the RFID tags. As well, some care must be taken with placing the large tags to ensure readability. You may also want to take care with surrounding materials which can interfere with the readability of RFID tags, as well as attempting to read tags through the walls of a building, as this can cause confusion as to the items which have and haven’t been read.

Passive Fixed Reader RFID Systems

The work required to identify assets can be drastically reduced with the implementation of a passive fixed reader RFID system. With this system, reading of assets occurs continuously and without any intervention from humans whatsoever.

These fixed-mount systems carry the same caveats as their mobile reader counterparts. As well, the cost of the fixed reader needs to be considered, as does where and how it will be mounted. The ability for the reader to maintain communication with the tags, as well as maintenance must also be taken into account.

Active Static Reader RFID Systems

These systems include RFID tags which are active. Like its passive fixed reader counterpart, this system also requires no human intervention. It is also capable of monitoring assets over large areas. Each tag in this kind of system has a lifespan of around five years, however, and this fact should be considered before implementing an active system. Network access is required for the tags to be read.

When considering which type of system to implement, it can help to remember that a combination of traditional systems with an RFID solution may offer the most efficiency. For example, where there are small items requiring tracking, a bar code system can be ideal. However, for larger items RFID systems can work best. In addition to this, it’s important to consider that RFID systems can be used both for tracking assets and for performing audits of inventory. Regardless of the system chosen, the best choice will be one that’s been well-researched.

http://www.labelmakers.co.uk

Signs That You Need Warehouse Labels

Warehouses all over the world experience many of the same challenges. Long waiting times for inventory picking and impassable aisles are just two of the many common problems encountered. However, a simple solution can solve most or all of them: the warehouse label. Although it may seem unlikely, when strategically placed, these labels can completely eliminate common issues. If you find that your warehouse is having similar problems to the ones below, it may be time to implement this these solutions.

Not Enough Floor Space

Inefficient use of space in your warehouse can contribute to the traffic jams and other issues you may be experiencing. Labels alone will not solve this issue; your inventory will need to undergo reorganising. For example, less frequently-picked inventory should be located on higher shelves. However, once reorganisation is complete, the addition of bar code security labels on all shelves and the use of companion software will ensure that inventory that is picked most frequently is very easy, and therefore less time-consuming, to determine.

You’re Not Using Scanners

It is true that inventory used to be done manually. However, if you’re still doing this is in your warehouse, then this is likely the cause of many of your current challenges. Here again, warehouse labels can be a great help. No longer do you have worry about human error or delayed shipments; you simply fix bar code labels to your items for employees to scan electronically. This makes their job easier, as well as providing far more accurate information. It also takes far less time for employees to complete.

Your Current Labels are not Cutting It

If your labels are peeling, ripping off or becoming unreadable, this could also be a major contributor to the many issues your warehouse may be experiencing. Even the slightest unreadability can mean major delays in order picking, and cause equipment to remain in aisles longer than it needs to, causing even more delays. Your warehouse requires a specific type of label; one which will not break down with temperature changes or become unreadable over time. Implementing durable labels that can handle cold storage, inclement weather, and high traffic volumes can indeed solve many problems.

Staff are Taking Too Long to Move Inventory

If it’s taking far longer than it should to pick inventory in your warehouse and then move it to shipping areas, this is a definite sign that more durable labels are needed. When labels are easy to read and scan, no time needs to be lost. To implement this solution effectively, labels need to be located on the floor as well as on aisles, whether they are of the fixed mount or aisle variety. Ensuring that labels are placed in all of these areas will allow employees to find the warehouse areas they need in far less time. When rack labels are also in use, employees can be confident about the items they pick.

Cautions and Considerations

Errors can also occur with the implementation of labelling system For example, regardless of how simple your solution may be, it’s vital to ensure that all employees have been notified of the changes. Not doing so will render even the most sophisticated labelling and scanning systems inefficient.

Far before the system is even implemented, notifying employees of the impending change will prevent much frustration and lost time. Before the system is implemented warehouse-wide, training should occur so that employees know how to properly use the system, as well as solve any challenges they may encounter while using it.

Finally, it should be said that the above issues only represent a fraction of the problems that can arise as the result of inefficient warehouse labelling. Regardless of what picking or storage problems your warehouse may be experiencing, the implementation of warehouse labels should definitely be a consideration.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

How Iron-On Or Carpet Labels Can Enhance Your Products

If you are a textiles or clothing business, simple iron-on labels are a fast way of getting important information across to your customers. Here are some of the ways you can use iron-on inkjet labels:

Personal and Permanent

An iron-on label allows you to add a personal touch to every handmade item you sell. You have spent a lot of time to create something special, and so the best thing about the iron-on label can be that you don’t have to do any additional knitting or sewing; you need only grab an iron, place your label, and follow the instructions.

The iron-on label is made with permanency in mind; there is no worry that it will fall off of what you may attach it to, because these labels are made with permanent adhesive. These kinds of adhesives can handle hot washer and drying temperatures, fluctuations in humidity, and pulls and tugs from attempts to remove them.

Iron-on inkjet labels offer far more versatility than stickers, hang tags or other labelling solutions. You can design them to contain any number of elements, from your company name to the size of the garment (if applicable), to a place for a short and heartfelt message. There really is no limit beyond your imagination when it comes to iron-on labels.

Professional and Informative

Carpet labels provide your products with a professional touch that your customers will appreciate. Unlike other carpet tagging methods, the carpet label cannot be removed. This makes it an ideal way to give your customers the information they need about your products at a glance. For example, your carpet labels can contain information about your product’s physical properties like the pile and colour, and even contain the name of the range of carpeting so that customers can more easily locate the product they want.

For your shop staff, carpet labels can allow for a much easier time when inventory needs to be done. Instead of endless searching, employees can simply look in the designated spot on the product to find the information they need to enter into your system.

The easiest product to apply to carpet backing is the carpet pressure-sensitive label. These labels include a special adhesive which attaches immediately to the carpet backing when pressed on. No ironing is necessary for these particular labels, which means that staff can reduce the number of steps needed to secure these labels to your products.

Lots of Variety

Both iron-on and carpet labels are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and finishes so that there is something for every preference. Satin-look labels can provide your gifts and products with that perfect elegant touch. Some labels like Matt Thick allow you to adhere them to your items, and then write on them. This adds a wonderful personal touch to your items. However, if you are doing this, you want to take care to use permanent fabric markers, as this will ensure that your label doesn’t fade, bleed or get washed away when water or other liquid is applied to it.

These labels are also available in many types of packaging. You can get iron-on and carpet labels by the roll as well as by the sheet. For a truly unique look and feel, these inkjet labels can also be had in fancy shapes that have been die-cut.

If you are having trouble choosing the right labels for your products, it can help greatly to speak to a professional printer such as Jenacre. We will be able to help you choose the perfect label for all of your personal and business requirements.

How Labels are Used to Promote Health & Safety

Labels are instrumental in ensuring the safety of millions of people in many different ways. When you think of security labels, you may think about protecting items like factory machinery, or office equipment like computers and other devices. But security labels are also used to protect human health and our environment.

Labels Provide Clarity

In terms of text labels, individuals can know what ingredients are contained in food and pharmaceuticals. However they can also help to facilitate understanding when information is presented on labels using simple images in addition to or instead of text. In countries with low or poor literacy, products labelled with simple images can save lives, allowing for readability regardless of literacy level.

Help for the Environment

In addition to helping secure human health, labels also help to secure the health of the environment. With landfills quickly filling in the UK, and aggressive targets in place to reduce the amount of waste that goes to them, labels are absolutely crucial.

Labels alert consumers about the ability of certain products to be recycled. They also keep consumers informed about the amount of recycled content in the products they use, which can inspire more recycling activity.

The confusion surrounding which bins to use for which products can also be avoided by clearly labelling each recycling bin for its respective product so that consumers can recycle more efficiently.

Possible Allergens and Toxicity

Allergies are on the rise, it seems; it is estimated that as many as one in fifty infants now suffer from a nut allergy. These kinds of allergies can cause anaphylaxis to occur, which can lead to a far more serious condition if not addressed immediately. Some nut allergy sufferers are so sensitive to these triggers that they cannot even be in the same room with peanuts without having an allergic reaction.

In these cases, it is vital to know what is contained in the foods you either buy for your allergic child or for the sake of your child’s allergic school mates. Many schools have now banned peanut products altogether, and manufacturers of products like snack bars are now ensuring the safety of their products and communicating their creation in a nut-free facility via their product labels.

Potentially poisonous products are also communicated using warning labels. For example, the chemicals in lice treatments require a certain degree of caution when using and applying. Certain restrictions also apply to the disposal of the containers these treatments are sold in.

Standardisation

Whilst the increased use of warning labels is a very good thing, there are some cases where work is still needed. Many are of the opinion that certain types of labels should be standardised for easy reading and interpretation, regardless of where the reader is located.

Standardisation of the information on labels is a good idea. However, it does require participation on a global scale, as well as a consensus on the most effective labels. This has already been accomplished in some industries, but takes time and resources to implement correctly.

Healthy Labels

With labels being used on so many products, and considering the increasing urgency to lower our carbon footprint, it only makes sense that the labels themselves are made to be biodegradable wherever possible. These eco-labels are already in place on many products, and are made either from materials which have previously been recycled, or made of biodegradable materials. They can also contain both. Eco-labels can also contain natural adhesives to ensure their complete breakdown, and can be manufactured without the use of wood-sourced paper, such as is the case with plant fibre labels. Even the coatings on these labels can be eco-friendly, as is the case when corn is used to make the coating film instead of petroleum.

With the world seeming to move at a faster pace than ever before, there is no doubt that our reliance on the information communicated by labels is increasing.

Are You Using This Incredibly Versatile Security Label?

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of types of security labels out there. But some labels offer a higher degree of versatility than others. One of these versatile labels is the vinyl sticky label. This small marvel offers incredible durability and is used in several industries for a wide range of purposes, including certification, security, and maintenance and repair.

The Maintenance Industry

The vinyl sticky label is ideal for maintenance of any kind, from appliances to warehouse equipment. It is absolutely vital to keep track of maintenance and repair work that has either already been done or will need to be done in future. Businesses can accomplish this with a vinyl label.

Because this type of label is unlikely to fade and is very difficult to remove, a record of the item’s repair history can be easily recorded by maintenance personnel and kept over the long term. The best part of having this kind of record is that it is always easy to find, as it is fixed onto the item itself.

A vinyl label can also help to market your business, acting like a permanent business card when you place your name and contact information on it.

The Vinyl Label in the Store Room

Keeping on top of everything in your company store room can be messy if all you have is a writing implements and product numbers. Enter the vinyl label, which can solve this problem in several ways. Because it can stand up to a wide range of temperatures, a vinyl label ensures that all your products can be easily identified, wherever they are stored.

The vinyl label can offer many benefits in terms of tracking. Simply write your product details, serial numbers etc on your label, and you can ensure that all of your items can be easily found and despatched each time.

For Security

Keeping track of the electronic devices you’ve purchased, maintained or repaired for your business would be far more difficult without the vinyl security label. They can also warn you of trouble should you attempt to fix or tamper with certain parts of electronic items. Those who manufacture items for sale also use these labels for to validate the warranty. For example, if you have a ‘void if removed’ sticker on the office air conditioning system, your maintenance person can always know that it is safe for them to start maintenance or repair work.

Making it Your Own

If you’re a crafty individual, the unique items you make and sell can benefit much from a vinyl label. From brewing to furniture restoration, no matter what your passion, a vinyl label with your company name, contact information and product identification has many benefits. Not only will you be able to store items nearly indefinitely, but you can always know they will be easy to identify when the time comes to sell them.

If you need to transport or store your items, these labels can also ensure readability of your company’s mark should the weather become very cold, warm or wet. Your customers can also be assured of authenticity, no matter when your items were purchased or what conditions they endured from warehouse to door.

Of course, the above uses only represent a few of the many for vinyl labels. They are also a priceless addition to any office to identify company property, as well as being incredibly useful for providing peace of mind to customers by communicating professional certification. Regardless of the way in which they are used, there is no doubt that the vinyl label is a valuable addition to any business, factory or other facility.

www.labelmakers.co.uk

Template Accuracy Isn’t The Only Factor For Better Inkjet Labels

Printing your own labels means taking template accuracy into account. However, it also means using your printer as efficiently as possible. The printer you use may have features that can do much to improve the quality of your labels if you know they are there and know how to use them. Please use the following as a guide. However, for large batch or regular printing it is often more cost effective to use a professional print supplier. Get in touch and chat to us about your requirements for a bespoke quote.

Print Properties

The majority of printers will give you the option to view and modify your print settings before you decide to print. These properties can allow you to improve the quality of your printed labels when the best possible combination of settings is used. The print properties settings to focus on include those relating to media weight and media type. Simply put, these two settings will change the way your printer prints your labels on particular media. If your printer has a specific ‘labels’ setting, all the better. If not, likely the best setting to choose will be ‘heavy paper.’

While you’re in the Print Properties dialogue box, you might want to check that a few more items are in place. You should ensure that no scaling options like ‘fit to page’ have been selected. You’ll also want to ensure that you haven’t chosen to ignore printer settings. Finally, no scaling options like “Fit to Page” or any percentages have been selected.

Choosing the correct Tray

Check your printer for a secondary tray, located above or below the main paper tray. Known as the media bypass tray, it is there to use when printing thicker materials like inkjet labels. Another reason the bypass tray is so handy for label printing is that when placed into it, your labels will travel on a different path through your printer that bypasses one or more rollers. In bypassing the rollers, the paper won’t rotate slightly as it travels through each set of rollers.

Print for your Printer

Regardless of the printer you have, it will have its own level of print accuracy, as well as its own starting point for printing on any sheet of paper. That being said, your template can be adjusted to suit the way your printer does its job. When you bear your printer’s unique accuracy and starting point properties in mind, you can actually design your labels around them and get the best results each time you print.

The unprintable area of your printer is the border of a page where your printer is unable to print. Being aware of this area is another important thing to keep in mind when designing your labels.

Print Specifications

Just as every printer has its own level of accuracy and print starting point, so too does every printer have its unique print specifications. If you have a more basic printer, it will likely have its limits in terms of weights and types of materials it can print onto. Fancier and more expensive models have a higher number of customisable features.

The all-in-one office printer is a popular choice. These machines are capable of scanning and copying in addition to printing. These particular machines are designed to complete the tasks above reasonably well. However, a printer that’s dedicated to printing alone will be able to complete this task to a much higher standard and print on a far wider range of materials, therefore requiring less adjustment to your printer settings.

If you plan to print inkjet labels on a regular basis and are searching for a printer, try and find one with two trays that has a specific setting for the printing of labels. It should also be able to print on a large selection of weights and materials. Above all, ensure that your label template has been set up correctly and then test it by printing on a regular sheet of paper before printing on your actual label sheet.

Security And Branding With Holographic Labels

Where the goal is to brand your products as well as increase security, the holographic label continues to be unsurpassed. Hologram labels are not only attractive, but offer protection from counterfeiting as well.

What is a Hologram and how is it Applied?

A hologram consists of two or more images. These images are arranged in such a way that one image is visible over the others when it is viewed from a particular angle by an individual. When used as security labels, the thick holographic image is transferred onto security paper.

Holographic labels have a backing of permanent adhesive. When applied to paper, this adhesive sets very quickly.

How Holograms Keep Products Secure

Once the adhesive on a holographic label sets, it becomes nearly impossible to remove. As well, any tampering can be easily detected by visible damage to the image. Many types of holographic labels are impossible to remove in a single piece, which also makes tampering evident.

The holographic labels you may have seen on the tags of official sportswear and similar items are a symbol of authenticity. There are various ways to tell if a holographic label is authentic, depending on the product you are considering purchasing. All holographic labels have the same characteristics.

Not only can these label types not be forged or reproduced, but they are also able to be validated quickly and easily.

Business Benefits of using Holographic Labels

Not only are these types of labels secure, but they also offer business benefits. Holograms can offer an advantage to the appearance of a product’s packaging or tags. These eye-catching labels with their rainbow colours and unique 3D construction invite the customer to take a closer look. Not only that, but a customer will tend to look at a holographic label for longer than they might a regular label.

These labels can also contain a company’s logo. Placing a business logo on a holographic label can mean that the customer interacts with a brand as well as the label itself for a longer period of time, which translates into plenty of brand exposure.

Added Security Features

In addition to the hologram itself, these labels can also include a number of other security features.

A label can be altered with something called white code marking. This allows a code, a series of numbers or even a signature to be incorporated into the label. These items remain visible regardless of the perspective from which they are viewed.

Inkjet numbering is another feature. This is the addition of a number series or separate dates or years. Inkjet numbering is best for products with some sort of expiry date, or those which need to have a visible date of manufacture.

Another feature is called laser etching, which can be in the form of a code, signature or year, among other items. The etching is permanent, and when completed, takes on the colour of the bottommost part of the label.

UV features are only visible under UV light, making them another viable means to secure items. This feature can appear on a holographic label in just about any way including code and numerical form.

Many businesses are adopting the use of holographic technology to secure their assets. The increasing number of counterfeit goods on the market is a worry to all businesses. And whilst not all counterfeiting can be completely eliminated, holographic images are helping prevent it.

Of all of the security labels in existence today, the holographic label combines the simplicity of authenticity identification with a formidable tool to prevent it from being copied, forged or replicated.

Digital Imaging: Vector and Raster

As both a professional printer of laser and inkjet labels and a full-service graphic design firm, we often are asked to enlarge images so that the client can use them elsewhere. Usually, we receive business logos and photographs. Unfortunately, many times, enlargement of the image is not possible because doing so would only result in a poorer quality image.

Explaining the reason why a photo cannot be enlarged can sometimes get complicated because of the terms being used. However, when you know what these terms mean, things become much clearer.

Vector

A vector image uses lines, shapes and curves when creating an image. This structure makes it easy for a computer to enlarge the vector image, because there are far fewer points in a vector image to be connected by the computer than there are in a raster image, which can contain thousands of pixels. The computer also stores colour information according to the points in the image. This means that should the image increase in scale, the computer knows where in the image to place certain colours and doesn’t guess like it is forced to with a raster image.

File Size

The file size of a vector image is typically far smaller than its raster counterpart because there is simply less information stored within the image. The same is true of colour; the vector image needs only to store points and colour information, which allows it to be more scalable but smaller in size.

In fact, a vector image is infinitely scalable. So even if you make a vector image incredibly small or incredibly large, it will never lose any of its quality. It is for this reason that many logos are stored in vector format; they can be scaled to any size for all manner of digital or printed media, from stamp to billboard, while retaining their quality.

Flexibility in Editing

The vector image also allows for editing, regardless of where you may be in the process of doing so. A rasterised image contains layers, all of which must be merged or ‘flattened’ before the image can be saved. Should you need to go back and do more editing, you will not be able to do so with a raster image. But with a vector image, design aspects can be changed at will, and independently of each other.

Raster

A raster image can use millions of dots of colour, or pixels if you are referring to print media or digital media respectively. These dots or pixels combine to create the image. One incredibly common form of raster image is the photograph. The megapixels of today’s digital camera refer to the number of dots contained in every image. The higher the number of dots, the better the quality of the image.

File Size

Raster images need to store individual colour information for each and every dot or pixel. As a result, the file size of a raster image can be enormous. Not only that, but each piece of information uses memory, making it impossible to send over email or other means. This is why many raster images are compressed into formats like .png and .jpg.

Enlargement

Unfortunately, raster images cannot be enlarged, as they quickly lose quality and become distorted or ‘pixelated’. The number of dots in a raster image do not change; as a result, the space between them becomes larger as the image gets larger.

Image Quality

For all its flaws, the raster image’s quality is second-to-none. They are usually far more detailed than a vector graphic.

The next time you hear your professional printer speak about vector and raster images, you will have a better idea of what makes each image type unique.