What is a Vector File?

January 13, 2023

If you come to Merge2Media with logos to be printed or similar graphic artwork, you will likely be asked if you could provide us with a vector file of the artwork. To quickly identify whether you have that file type, look for one of these extensions: .ai, .eps, .svg or .pdf. If your image is in any other file format, we may be able to use it in some situations if the resolution is high enough or sometimes we can even use our software to convert it to a vector but this option will never give you the highest quality output. 

We are aware that this file type isn’t common and that you may not have access to the original creator of your logo to provide it for you. So let us explain why we need this format and how you can help us get the right file.

Raster

The best way to understand vector art is to compare it to the more common image file types you’re probably more familiar with like .jpegs or .pngs. These other formats are raster based images, meaning they are built up of thousands and millions of pixels. Pixels enable an image to display all the colors we see and to blend them seamlessly and therefore are best for photographic images.  

The problem with raster images is that when we scale them up, even high resolution photos start to show the pixilation.  

     

Vector

Vector images, on the other hand, are created using mathematical equations between points to measure distances and shapes. Because of this, their size can be increased indefinitely as the computer simply multiplies these equations.These file types work best with logos and graphic styled illustrations.

           

Since every part of the image is editable, vector images can be recolored, repeated and shaped as needed in addition to being fully scalable and are independent of a background. This enables us to manipulate the logo for any of the many various applications available, from t-shirts and hats to signs, stickers, banners or whatever you can imagine! 

How You Can Get Your Artwork in Vector Format

Whoever originally designed your logo likely started with vector and so, if possible, contact the creator to see if they can send it to you. If you can’t get that file, there are two things we can try to convert your artwork to vector. One is to use our software to try and trace the artwork. This can be a great solution if your original picture is high resolution. Lastly, we can try and recreate your logo. This method is the most labor intensive and depends a lot on the availability of the fonts used in your logo and how complicated your logo is.

We enjoy finding ways to provide the best output possible for your project, and hope this helps!

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