Vector vs Raster Image Files, Which is Right for You?
Have you heard the words Raster or Vector and you’re not sure what people are referring to? Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
What is a Raster Image?
A Raster image file is usually saved as a JPEG, TIFF, GIF, or PNG and can be used on websites or printed materials. They’re typically photographs, or art files that look photographic. Once saved, a Raster image has a set number of pixels, (or tiny colored squares aligned next to each other to make the image). If you try to enlarge the image, the edges of the square pixels become visually noticeable and therefore give the image a jagged, grainy, or ‘pixelated’ look. When saving files, its best to know the end use of the images, and save Raster images in the exact size you will need to publish or print it to avoid a blurry image. If the end use requires a smaller size than the original, keep a copy of the original image so you still have it, and and save a smaller copy for your immediate use.
What is a Vector Image?
A Vector image file is commonly saved as an EPS, Ai, or PDF file. These are not composed of pixels, but instead Vector images are formed by mathematical equations, that are created automatically by the program you are using. A widely used Vector program is Adobe Illustrator. Vector images are ideal for files that will need lots of resizing. They are typically illustrations, logos, info-graphics and other graphic elements. Your business related images – such as logos and graphics – should be created as a Vector file. That makes it easy to resize and quickly save for various uses like Store Front Signs, or Large Outdoor Banners.