What is a vector graphic and why or when do I need it?
Has a commercial printer, engraver, sign company or other service provider ever asked you to provide an image in vector format? There are two major types of images in the graphic industry; Raster and Vector.
Raster images are the most common type and are made of pixels. If you zoom in to a raster image or you scale it up, you will probably see something that looks like little tiny squares, these are the pixels The very common jpg, gif, and png, are raster images.
Vector graphics are object oriented, they do not contain pixels. They are actually mathematical calculations from one point to another. Vector graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality which is something you cannot do with raster images. See Raster vs Vector.
- Vector art is scalable
- Vector graphics are resolution-independent
- With vectors, you can easily reduce the number of colors & printing costs
- Vector images are required by plotters, cut signs, and engraving
- Vector files can be exported or saved as many different file formats
If you have an image that is not very good in quality or loses quality when scaled up in size, you can fix your image by having it vectorized. Once your image is in vector format, it can be used for may different projects and used at any size. You can print it on a pen, or on a billboard. More