I want to use a background image from here though these are usually just used for websites. I am worried the quality will not be sufficient enough for print. Would I be correct in this assumption? Is there a way to make the image more print friendly (eg: shrink the image and repeat it)?

I am using Illustrator and wish to place my vectors over the top of it.

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Well, there's not rule saying you can't use a png image as a background. The problem is that, for a business card, you will probably be working in 300 ppi. This means the image you see on your screen is around 4 times the size of what will actually be printed.

If you use the png patter as it is, yes, you will loose the details. I'd suggest you choose a pattern you like, and you redraw it using illustrator (with enough zoom it shouldn't be too hard - give it a try). Once you have it vectorized, you can re-size it freely. You could also look for vector patterns.

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