Maps printed or exported from ArcMap are bitmapped, scattered, banded, or display with low quality.
This happens for several reasons, independently or combined:
When exported or printed, ArcMap flattens and rasterizes the layer that is symbolized with either a picture fill, picture marker or transparency, and any layers beneath it in the Table Of Contents (TOC).
Other data frames in the map that do not contain picture fills, picture markers, or transparency are not affected.
It is highly recommended to use ArcGIS Pro for printing and exporting, especially when experiencing issues caused by the limitations of the ArcMap display engine. More specifically, ArcGIS Pro is not restricted by the graphical device interface (GDI) limitations that some users experience in ArcMap. For example, transparency is natively supported in ArcGIS Pro, preventing the rasterization of layers. Additionally, ArcGIS Pro supports transparency in layout elements. See Migrate from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro for more information.
Note: ArcGIS Pro does not support exporting Adobe Illustrator files; it is recommended to export using PDF or SVG instead.
If using ArcGIS Pro is not an option, use any of the following options below.