If you’ve had the good fortune of POP THE PIXEL creating a logo for you before, you’ll know at the end of the process we hand over a “vector” master-file. So, you’re probably wondering… what is a vector? Think mathematics and geometry. Vector artwork comes from software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, for example. These software programs operate in mathematic formulas and geometric codes (shapes, lines, points, etcetra), producing elegant and infinite designs that never falter in quality.
But what exactly is vector artwork? Let’s explain what it is by first defining what it is not.
RASTER GRAPHICS VERSUS VECTOR ARTWORK
Vector artwork can almost be considered the polar opposite of a raster graphic. Raster graphics, or, bitmap images, are images that are made up of pixels. When enlarged, the edges of these images become distorted. Infinite hues make up the colors represented in raster graphics.
Vectors, on the other hand, can be scaled up or down to any size without ever losing their initial quality. To put it simply, outlines of these graphics are always 100% crisp, no matter their size. Indeed, solid colors make up areas of solid color (excluding gradients).
An example of raster artwork is a photograph. But artwork created with raster programs like Adobe Photoshop are also raster graphics. Vectors are created with editing programs like Adobe Illustrator, as mentioned earlier.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ARTWORK IS VECTOR?
You may be wondering, how do you really know if your art file is a vector art file? The easiest way to determine whether your artwork is vector is to look at the extension of the file. That is, what does your file name end with? If it is .ai, .eps, .pdf, or .svg, you are in the vector zip code.
If you save your file in one of these formats, however, it does not mean that your artwork is truly vector. At times, we open raster files in Adobe Illustrator, and then re-save the file in a vector format. Without refurbishing the artwork employing the vector editing tools, you may be unable to open the file. If so, check in with your graphic designer to open the file and check it for you… we are all human after all and POP THE PIXEL is here to help.
IMAGE FILES AND WHERE THEY WORK BEST
JPG: A Raster image that is a square or rectangle photograph on your website.
PNG: Also a raster image that is an icon, logo, or image that includes a transparent background.
GIF: Another raster image of web graphics, buttons, and icons. Often animated.
TIF: A large raster image or photograph of high quality.
EPS: A master vector file for logos, graphics, and print designs.
AI: A vector file for creating logos, graphics, and illustrations.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY ARTWORK IS RASTER BUT I NEED VECTOR?
What do you do? Well, good thing is, it’s not the end of the world. We can convert it for you. Give us a shout at 323-848-4465 or send us a message online to vectorize the artwork for you!
AT THE END OF THE DAY
The important thing to remember is that your company logo and brand graphics should be designed and saved as a master vector file. This way you can utilize the file with smaller images such as your business card or letterhead, or larger (like on a billboard). Bear this in mind, and you’ll be onto greater and greener branding pastures.
About the Author of This Post
Christopher Dalbey is an actor and screenwriter who likes to hear the funny side of the story first. You can follow his odd-yssey on Instagram, and see full clips of his work on christopherdalbey.com.