Friday, May 20, 2016

Lost your image file? No problem!

If you do not have a digital file of your graphic but you have access to an item with the graphic printed on, embroidered on, tattooed on, or otherwise visible on an item, we may be able to reproduce your image in multiple formats including vector AI, CDR, EPS, SVG and more.

Take a photo of the item with the graphic on it and email it to us. A scan of the item would work much better because there won't be any distortion* but we can also work with a photo as a last resort.

graphic reproduced in vector format


*Distortion Problems
When using a photograph of a graphic as a reference, rather than a flat scan, the photographs will show the graphic in perspective (distorted). We will have to guess as to how the artwork might have looked originally.

reproduce lost vector

If at all possible, a flat scan of the product with the graphic on it will work best.

vector conversion

If a scan is not available, we can still try to correct any distortion but the new graphic we create will most likely not be identical to your original file if we do not have the original to compare it to.

See more samples

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Raster vs Vector

There are two main type of image files: Raster and Vector. Raster images are created with pixel-based programs or captured with a camera or scanner. They are more common in general such as jpg, gif, png, and are widely used on the web. Vector graphics are created with vector software and are common for images that will be applied onto a physical product. Also used in CAD, engineering, and 3D graphics.

When using a raster program you paint an image and it's similar to dipping a brush in paint and painting. You can blend colors to soften the transition from one color to another.

When using a vector program you draw the outline of shapes: and it's similar to creating an image with tiles of all different shapes and sizes. e.g. an eye shape, a nose shape, a lip shape. These shapes called objects display one single color each.

A lot of images can be made with either raster or vector program and look exactly the same on both programs. Images with a subtle gradation of one color to another are the images that will look most different since vector programs need to create a separate shape for each shade of color.

Some vector programs do have the ability to create color gradients within one single shape, but these are actually raster effects. A vector graphic with gradients contains both vector and raster elements and won't be suitable for process that requires 100% vector or true vector art.

Photographs are raster images and are probably the best example of images completely made of color blends - or shade blends in the case of black and white photographs - and those images look very different when drawn in vector format. Click here for examples.

Pixels vs Vectors

Raster images are made of pixels. A pixel is a single point or the smallest single element in a display device. If you zoom in to a raster image you may start to see a lot of little tiny squares.

Vector images are mathematical calculations from one point to another that form lines and shapes. If you zoom into a vector graphic it will always look the same.

A raster image has a specific number of pixels. When you enlarge the image file without changing the number of pixels, the image will look blurry. When you enlarge the file by adding more pixels, the pixels are added randomly throughout the image, rarely producing good results.

When you enlarge a vector graphic, the math formulas stay the same, rendering the same visual graphic no matter the size.  Vector graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality.

Common Uses

Vector graphics are commonly used for logos, illustrations, technical drawings and for use with processes that require vector art such as specialty signs and printing, engraving and etching. Also used in CAD, Engineering, and 3D graphics.

Raster, or pixel-based images represent and edit photographs and photo-like images better than vector programs because they can use an abundant number of different color pixels. By arranging pixels and slowly incrementing or changing the color or shade of the pixels adjacent to them, it creates a subtle gradation from one color to another: nice and smooth color blends.

If I am creating a new design which software should I use; Raster or Vector?

It depends on the design itself. If it's going to have photographic elements with continuous tones and blends of color, you are probably better off using a paint program.

If you want your design to look like a drawing or illustration with clear contrast between the elements of the design, then use a vector program.

Ideally a company that has a logo design with photographic elements, also has a secondary simplified version of their logo in vector format that can be used for those specialty items that require vector art.

All the images on this post have been rasterized for web display.

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