The on-screen preview will always look "bad" since you are only seeing a
preview. Photos will look OK, but not in the details. Luckily however, that
is only the on-screen preview--for print/PDF output, the actual graphic file
Depending on the source of the artwork, here are the _typically_ settings I
PDF or native AI. I use EPS if I have to or art was supplied in that mode.
Photos (color and grayscale raster images)
RGB output: PNG, TIFF, JPEG @ high quality
CMYK output (for printing): TIFF with LZW compression
Scanned Line Art (black-only raster art)
1200 ppi / 1800 ppi for print
TIFF w/ LZW
Make sure it is scanned as "line art" or "black & white" mode--in Photoshop,
it would be in Bitmap mode.
These settings have to be used during scanning and generally, they cannot be
"retro-fitted". If scanned correctly, this will look as good as vector art.
Sometimes, I will downsample the resolution in my PDF export mode, but I
find that Frame is usually more responsive is you size the dimensions and
resolution before import.
If creating a PDF for commercial printing (offset), I usually make an RGB
PDF and convert in Acrobat Pro. I can make sure any RGB blacks convert to
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