Vector Artwork Explained

  • Vector files have file extensions like .svg .pdf .ai .eps – so if your designer gives you those – DON’T DELETE THEM BECAUSE YOU CANT OPEN THEM
  • Files types with extensions like .jpg .png .gif are great for web and email and are probably the files you can open, but these can’t be blown up. DON’T USE THESE FOR A LOGO DESIGN OR A BRAND.
Linus does a great job of explaining the Vector file

How come my graphic looks grainy?

Vector versus rasterized graphics - raster example
When you blow up a rasterized image (like jpeg or png) it becomes pixelated

If you’ve tried to get printing done for your company, you’ve heard the word vector before. Print companies ask for it, designers ask for it, and it’s worth taking a few minutes to understand.

The Vector File Format.

Vector versus rasterized graphics
You will see that the edges are all clean in vector artwork (pdf, eps, ai, etc…)

Vector artwork is illustrated in a certain way that allows it to be resized as big as you like without any loss in quality. Have you ever noticed when printing how some designs have sharp edges and others get grainy when they are blown up?  The clean edges reflect vector artwork and the grainy low-resolution distortion is a result of not using vector artwork.

Vector logo design service
A good designer is a master of the vector pen tool

Not everything can be a vector file. Photographs, for example, can’t be vector because they are pixel-based by nature. Logos and illustrations, however, can be vectorized.

File sizes matter. If you are sending an illustration properly formatted in vector then you will notice the file size is small. Not matter what size the print or view is. However, the larger the photograph, the larger the file. Something that is poster sized in vector might be 100KB and can easily be emailed. But a photograph which is the size of a poster will be several hundred megabytes often requiring alternate delivery options. Photos need this size because they contain instructions for every pixel in the work. Vectors merely include lines, shapes, and colours.

Your branding should always be done in vector. You can sometimes render the vector with special effects to make it 3D or to give it special characteristics in certain use cases, but you should use a vector version for standardization.

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