line art

Definition: Art-work that consists of black lines and areas with no intermediate grey tones or, less frequently, white lines on a black background e.g. scraper board. * Line-art does not need half-tone reproduction and may be digitised into simple binary files (on/off or black/white) since there are no tonal gradations.
Scanned lines
It's just as well that line art files can be kept small because when you scan line art on a desk-top scanner, you'll find you need to work at the highest resolution you can set. The high contrast lines offer what amounts to very high frequency -- this means that resolutions too low for the detail you want will show up as ugly stair-stepping which, in continuous tone images, is usually disguised by intermediate tonal changes. But in line-art it shows up as, well, ugly stair-steppping.

Related Terms: bit depth

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