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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raster vs Vector

If you are a graphic designer or maybe having some design work done you will hear the terms “Raster” and “Vector” at some point from a designer, printer or agency so it is good to understand what each means.  
Raster is a bitmapped digital image where all elements of the image are broken into tiny pixels.  Digital photos are raster images and composed of millions of little tiny dots or pixels when put together show off all the detail that you see with the naked eye.  These bitmap images will take the format of .gif, .jpeg, and .png to name a few.  You can enlarge and shrink raster files a small percentage but for the most part resizing an extreme amount will cause the pixels to become distorted which in turn makes the image fuzzy. 
Vector is also a digital image but unlike raster details can be edited like text and lines when saved properly.  Unlike raster these images can be resized more dramatically and still hold their integrity.  Since vector is so versatile it is typically used more for line art and logos.  Adobe® Illustrator® documents end in the format of .ai but .eps or .pdf files could also be used for a vector format as well.
At times you may start out with a vector image and have a need to convert it to raster.  For example if you create a logo in Adobe Illustrator but need to use it for a website.  Web browsers can’t read raster file formats so it needs to be converted.  Make sure you save a copy of the vector file since it is not possible to convert from raster to vector.
**This is an exerpt from book "Your New Business Logo". There are more helpful tidbits just like this one. Check out the ebook link to find out how to get your copy.**

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