Pixels To Print: Raster vs. Vector

January 24, 2019

Raster vs. Vector

Have you ever been told by a designer or by your marketing team that your logo/design is in a raster format? Have they then asked you for a vector version of your artwork instead? Are you reading this right now and thinking to yourself "I have no idea what any of this means?" Never fear, the NorthPoint Design Team is here to help! Understandably, most people don't know the difference between file types since they don't work with these files very often. However in the design world, artwork pretty much falls under two categories, Raster or Vector, and here's how each differ:

Raster vs. Vector

Raster files are composed of pixels. Each tiny pixel is basically a small square of color, and each square is arranged in a grid to form an image. For printing, 300 pixels/dots per inch (also known as DPI) is recommended to give you a crisp, clean image. However if you try to scale a raster file larger than it's set dimensions, then the image could print out pixelated because essentially you are just making the square pixel larger, and thus the issue.
File types: .JPG .PNG .GIF .TIF

At the most basic level, a vector file is composed of paths to create shapes. They use points, lines, and curves so that the image can be scaled to any size as needed without losing quality. Vector files are always best when working in Illustrator or another editing software as designers can easily manipulate them to achieve the desired look that the client wants.
File types: .AI .EPS .SVG .PDF

Whenever we're working with clients on new design projects, we always prefer to have a vector version of your logo so that we can easily scale it to various sizes. Having your artwork in a vector version will not only cut down on design time, but it also eliminates the chance that your artwork will pixelate when scaled. As a best practice, whenever you're communicating with your art department, be sure to request the vector version of your logo!

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  1. I prefer vector over raster because the main reason is pixel is stretched while resizing but vector is more clear without losing quality after resizing. So better to convert from raster to vector. Thanks.