As the old saying go’s, first impressions matter.
The first impression any prospective customer is going to have of your company is likely going to be your logo.
You might have come across the problem of sending your logo off to the printer only for them to ask for a Vector file leaving you scratching your head… Or worse, they didn’t ask for the Vector file and your prints came back blurry & pixelated – obviously, this goes against making that good first impression!
In this post, we’ll attempt to answer the question “do I need vector file for my logo?” while giving you a little more context as to why the answer is YES.
What is a Vector File
In order to gain some context, it’s worth knowing that there are essentially two types of Image files – Vector and Raster.
Going off Adobes description, Vector files are images that are built by mathematical formulas which establish points on a grid whereas Raster files are composed of coloured blocks commonly referred to as pixels.
To put this in layman’s terms, the key takeaway should be that… Vector images are fundamentally different from Raster images. They can be enlarged to any size needed without losing any quality.
A Vector file’s purpose is to be enlarged and used in large print formats such as flyers & posters etc. This format should be the default format of any logo that is designed for these reasons.
For a lot of people, this information isn’t going to be something that applies to them however, if you are working on graphics or you just happen to be putting a flyer or poster together then this is something worth knowing.
How are Vector files created?
As we’ve covered, if you’re looking to have a Logo made (or are creating one yourself), it’s going to be a good idea to ensure it is in the Vector format.
Vector files are typically created using Vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator. When zooming in on the design it’ll look crisp and clear no matter how zoomed in, or out, you currently are.
Raster based programs such as Photoshop, as mentioned, work with pixels. When zooming in you’ll start to see the image get pixelated and blurry – not great for something like a logo.
You may be thinking “why use a program like Photoshop if it gets blurry when I zoom in?” The answer to this is that you can achieve a lot more, graphically speaking, editing pixels.
Provided you are using high-quality images (plenty of pixels) when editing in Photoshop you are able to zoom in without things getting too pixelated, you’re also able to create more advanced graphics in Photoshop – so it definitely has its uses.
Both programs are great at doing what they do and are capable of working together.
How to tell if your Image is a Vector File
The simplest way to tell if your image is a Vector file would be to look at the file type. If the file is saved as a .png, .jpg, .tif or .gif, it’s a Raster file. If it is saved as a .eps, .ai, .pdf or .svg it is likely a Vector file.
To be sure, you can check this visually by opening and enlarging the image. If you zoom in to 200% or more and the edges of the image blur and distorts, then you are looking at a Raster image. If you zoom in and the edges of the image remain crisp then chances are, you’re looking at a Vector image.
In conclusion, you’ve now got a general understanding of the different image file types and their uses.
So, when you’re next looking to get some flyers or posters printed off and are asked for the “Vector File,” you now have some context as to what and why you are being asked for this.