So What is this File You Call “Vector?”

Almost everyone knows what a jpeg or png file is but do you know truly what a vector file is and the difference between it and what is known as a raster image?

In a nutshell, a raster file such as a jpeg, png, or tif are made up of several pixels or tiny squares that collectively compose an image. These pixels or tiny squares do not scale well and often look “fuzzy” or “soft.” Raster graphics often look good on screen but when printing or using for items such as specialty items (shirts, pens, etc) or signage will not render well.

So what exactly is a vector file? It is a piece of art that was created in a vector illustration program such as Adobe Illustrator. The difference between a vector piece of art and a raster, is a vector piece of art is considered “line art” and is not made of pixels. Vector is often preferred because it can be scaled (both reduced and enlarged indefinitely) without a loss of quality.

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