There are only two image types: raster files and vector files.
A raster file is made up of square-shaped pixels. A vector file is a graphic based on mathematical curves and paths instead of pixels.
The most important thing about vector files is that they’re resolution independent, meaning you can make them bigger or smaller without hurting the quality of the image.
The key advantages to using vector files:
- Scalability – No matter how big or small you make a vector, it will always look as sharp as the original.
- Easily editable – A vector file lets you manipulate its colors, shapes, sizes, layout and more.
The only downside of vector files is their compatibility; you must open them in a vector-based design program such as Adobe Illustrator or Sketch.
Raster files are resolution dependent, meaning the image displays properly at a certain dimension and anything bigger will stretch the pixels and make it blurry. They usually comes as JPG or PNG files.
When you download raster files online, pay attention to file size and quality. Typically, the more pixels present in an image, the larger the file size and the better the quality.
The three main vector file formats are – AI, EPS, and PDF.
.AI Files or Adobe Illustrator Artwork file, is proprietary to Illustrator and can typically be read and edited within its native program.
.EPS Files or Encapsulated PostScript is a standard way of exporting vector designs because it can easily be transmitted between design programs.
.PDF Files or Portable Document Format, is a universal standard file format that can display both vector and raster graphics.
We require vector files to create contour cut decals for vehicle graphics signs and lettering. They allow us more flexibility in design. We are able to enlarge and print vector images without compromising in image detail and clarity.
When creating your company logos it is important to ask your designer to provide you with a vector version of the logo. In most cases the designer would have created the logo in a vector based program but converted it to a raster based image so you are able to view and use it online.