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Creating bmp images in Adobe Illustrator 27.4.1 are rendering quite fuzzy

Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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Hello to All,

I created 300 dpi .bmp images from Adobe Illustrator 27.4.1 in Grayscale for our manufacturing plant.

(This is what they require for their print process).  I created 2, one as Art Optimized, one as Type Optimized. The T.O. looks better but to me is not very sharp at all. I realize the art is rendered but I have seen better results before using the same steps. Has anyone else experienced this lately? I would attach the art but it is proprietary. I opened both in Preview and PhotoShop. Same fuzzy result.

Thank you!

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Import and export , Performance , Type

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Mentor ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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>I created 300 dpi .bmp images

How? What were your steps?

What size is your art (Illy), what size is your output (.bmp)?

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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The artwork size is 3.15 inches wide by .787 inch high. Small package for a medical device.

1. Removed crops from the artwork

2. Removed any variable information that is not needed on the .bmp

3. File, Export as BMP,

4. Select Color Model: Grayscale (art is Black),

5. Select Resolution: High 300 ppi

6. Anti-aliasing: Type Optimized (art is mainly text)

7. Click ok

8. Opened the rastered image in both Preview and PhotoShop.

9. BMP Options: Windows  8 bit.

10. The finished size is the same as the original.

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Explorer ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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Oops switch step 9 and 8! 

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Mentor ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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.787 inches is only 236.1* pixels, you'll see 4.1666* steps on screen per pixel (300/72) if you zoom in.

At actual size (100% scale) it's negligible, but this is, after all, a 3/4 inch high piece of text, rendered in discreet (*whole number) pixels with varying shades of (again, discreet 1pt x 1pt) grey around the edges.

I tested with a Sans (Myriad Black), but if you used a Serif you'll likely see more ambiguity in rendering.  

(Why does it have to be bitmap?)

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Explorer ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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Thanks for the response and detail. 

I cannot change the font as our company has a brand font that we must use. As far as "why does it have to be a bitmap",  "I created 300 dpi .bmp images from Adobe Illustrator 27.4.1 in Grayscale for our manufacturing plant. (This is what they require for their print process)."  

I have no choice but to supply a .bmp because that is what the manufacturing plant printers will accept. We supply a .bmp that they import into Labelview or some similar software. They then add variable data (barcodes, Lot and Exp data) and print the labels.

Have been creating these types of .bmps for years and have not seen the images look so fuzzy before. Even larger sized labels look fuzzy. It remains a mystery to me!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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For text 300 ppi is not sufficient. For text you need something around at least 1200 ppi. 

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Explorer ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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Thank you for the reply.

I realize that but that is what the printing system requires.

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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You are running out of options.

 

Just maybe you haven't talked to the right person at the printing facility. Or maybe you need to turn to a different service provider.

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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I have spoken with the right person. We own the manufacturing facility that does the printing, so we cannot just go with another supplier!

Anyway, as I have stated, I have been creating these images for many years. 

My biggest question was if anyone RECENTLY noticed any change in the quality of bmps, perhaps from the latest version of AI.

Thank you.

 

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Mentor ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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>They then add variable data (barcodes, Lot and Exp data) and print the labels.

As bitmaps?

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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No, they import the .bmp image into the software, then add the barcodes and other variable data as vector images.

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Mentor ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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So it just doesn't make sense for you not to be able to give them vector art - not only will your art have greater fidelity, in all likelihood the file size will be significantly smaller, and the file will RIP/print quicker and look better...

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Community Expert ,
Apr 27, 2023 Apr 27, 2023

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The fuzziness is coming from the anti-aliasing. You're better off turning it off. Yes, you will get some jagginess on type, but if the resolution of your printing process is 300 (many thermal label printers are waaay worse than this), the anti-aliasing won't reproduce anyway.

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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I tried Art Optimized, Type Optimized and None for Anti-aliasing.  None produced the worse result.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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Have you kept any similar BMP files from a few years ago?  If so, try comparing. You might find they haven't actually changed. You might find a design change has increased the problem. If you do find a difference maybe you can share two examples (old and new) for our comments. 

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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Thank you, I made some comparisons before I posted here. 

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LEGEND ,
Apr 28, 2023 Apr 28, 2023

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Can you share the comparison? It will tell us what you see as a problem (and we might see as just normal, or not).

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Community Expert ,
Apr 29, 2023 Apr 29, 2023

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Is there any way you can share the type/brand/model of printer they are using?

I used to work for a printer that had an inventory control system with a 300dpi label printer. It was not capable of any sort of halftone/grey so it was purely b&w...so supplying something in greyscale/antialiased is a waste of effort and only made the result worse. For such labels, a 300ppi bitmap image was more than fine, and is more than capable of reproducing barcodes/QR codes. Only in smaller type did it really start to break, but the naked eye wouldn't see it in print. So I'm wondering if you're agonizing over nothing. e.g. this is an example of one of our delivery labels. More than adequate for the end purpose (and frankly, the same result as first generation laser printers)

Delivery Slip 2019.png

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