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Vector vs. Raster Images

The Importance of Vector vs Raster Images when Creating Marketing and Promotional Material

If you working with a printer, web developer or graphic designer and have been asked for your company logo in a certain file format, you might be questioning what the difference is and why it’s important. Well, here’s the scoop!

There are two types of file formats commonly used in the print and web industry called vector and raster.

Vector Graphics:

A vector graphic is made up of paths, each with a vector or mathematical formula that controls its shape and color. If you look closely at a vector image you will see control points with curves between them, almost like a child’s connect the dots game.

• When do you need a vector graphics? Vector graphics are used most commonly in print, signage, logos, online and promotional materials.
• How do you make a vector image? You have to have professional design software such as Adobe Illustrator and the ability to use it in order to make a vector image.
• What file formats are vector? These are the most common file formats that are most often associated with vector images, eps, png, svg, and ai.
• What are the benefits of vector images? The benefit of vector graphics is that they produce the most precise and clearest designs at any scale.

Raster Graphics:

A raster image is like a mosaic made up of dots or in this case pixels. Each pixel is actually a tiny square assigned a specific color, and like tiles in a mosaic, they are arranged to create an image. More pixels within a unit area means higher resolution and quality.

• When do you need a raster graphics? Raster graphics are used most commonly used for photography, website, and print.
• How do you make a raster image? To make a raster image such as an art collage photo you use a program such as Adobe Photoshop.
• What file formats are raster graphics? These are the most common file formats that are most often associated with raster images, jpeg, bmp, gif and tiff.

So, how can you tell if your file is vector or raster? The only way to know for sure is to open the file and get a close up look at part of the design. If you see the vector lines and dots, you’ve confirmed that it’s a vector graphic. If you look in a see tiny dot then it is a raster image.

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