Vector and raster files. What is the difference?

Vector and raster files. What is the difference?

When you commission a logo design your designer should always create the logo in a vector format whenever possible because there are differences between vector and raster files.

There are a number of reasons why and today I would like to explain the difference between vector and raster files to you.

When you view a logo on screen the image is made up of pixels, this is most common with a JPEG or bitmap image, otherwise known as a raster image.

Imagine taking this raster image and enlarging it to the point where each pixel looses its sharpness because there is no longer enough information stored within the file. You will see a blurry image which will not look crisp at such a large size.

A vector image on the other hand is made up of paths and not pixels meaning that no matter how large you scale them you won’t see any loss in clarity or appearance because you are scaling a path rather than a pixel.

Think of it as stretching a piece of gum, sooner or later the gum will stretch so far it will snap, that’s what happens with a raster image. Now think of unrolling a never-ending hose pipe, no matter how long you make it the hose will not break or distort but instead keeps on growing while staying the same shape – well that’s the vector image.

There is another benefit to a vector image and that is because you can export it as a raster image if you need to but you can’t go the other way and export a raster image as a vector for the reasons I have already mentioned.

Take a look at the files your designer has supplied and see if you have vector and raster files. The vector version will have the suffix .eps or .ai