What's a Vector Graphic and Why Do I Need to Know?

Vector. Image. Format. – What are Vector Graphics?

As a Creative Director, I ask clients for a vector image the moment we meet. It’s introduction, then “hey, do you have a vector version of your logo?” Let’s just say the response is less than desirable.

So what is it? Simplified, a Vector Image Format, or a Vector file, is a format of file that allows your logo to be enlarged without losing quality. Whether it be EPS, PDF or AI… a vector logo is created by shapes with defined points, allowing them to stretch and still keep tight lines.

Have you ever seen a logo that looked blurry? That is because it was enlarged past it’s resolution. You see, files such as photography or raster images (look for another blog on this) are comprised of a certain number of tiny colored blocks or pixels. When you enlarge those images past their resolution, their pixels become visibly grainy and the image distorts.

Vector graphics definition, on the other hand, is an image that uses mathematical formulas rather than individual colored blocks, making scalable vector graphics the perfect way to resize your image! This is crucial for logo files that will go on something as small as a business card or as large as a corporate jet (think BIGGER).

Take a look at the image below. This is a magnified version of two Prolifik Chat Bubbles side-by-side. The left image is a vector graphics file. The right image is a png file. Both were tripled in size from their original resolution. As you can see, the image on the left is still smooth, while the image on the right has begun to blur on the edges. 

BLOG vector .png

Do yourself a favor and always have your graphic design vector file ready when you need something designed for your company. Trust me, your private jet will thank you.

Angela Taylor