When our customers or client submit art for printing, we see that they have no idea what a Vector file is. Many people who are not professionals in graphic designers have no idea what vector art is (and why they should), and companies don’t have graphic designers on staff. Some people work as graphic designers who don’t know what a vector file is.
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Vector art is of two art forms used by computers; the other way is bitmap (raster) art. Bitmap art is identified by file names that end in gif, BMP, jpeg, jpg, png, and PCX. Vector art files are generally saved as eps, ai, or cdr files. Vector art is a mathematical algorithm created with software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw, Quark, and a few others. Also, with Illustrator you can design custom enamel pins.
These programs are mathematical equations and geometric primitives to create clean, camera-ready art that can be infinitely scaled without losing quality or clarity. The same skill can be used for a business card, poster, or billboard.
A raster file is a dot matrix data structure that uses pixels (small dots or squares of color) to create a public image. Instead of called raster images or bitmap files, they are the same.
The art is distorted when the image is enlarged. Every time you edit the file, you lose some clarity.
Raster graphics, such as photos and graphics files created in Adobe Photoshop, and other raster programs, can be used for screen printing or digital printing applications. In most cases, especially with art like logos and numerous colors, printers need vector art to achieve the print quality you want and expect.
Can I convert a BMP, GIF, or JPG file to Vector?
Unfortunately not. A bitmap file is differently created, and just like putting another cover on a book, it still has the same pages inside.
I converted a Photoshop file to EPS; why can’t I use it as vector art?
Vector art use lines to create images; photographs cannot usually be converted to a vector image. A raster or bitmap file uses points; they are not made in the same way. You can’t take a raster file created in Photoshop (for example) and save it with a eps, ai extension. O.cdr and magically convert it to a vector file. Once a bitmap is always a bitmap unless it is recreated or traced.
How do you know? if a file is a vector art file?
You can usually identify the vector art by the process of elimination. If it has the wrong extension, it is not a vector. I encourage clients if they are unsure about enlarging the image to 400 or 800%, and if the edges are incredibly rough and pixelated, it is probably NOT a vector image. If you still can’t tell, send it to your printer, and they can let you know. The A.pdf file can be a Vector or raster. It depends on how it was created.
Bitmap consists of a series of numbers and colors that represent coordinates within the image area grid. (The pixels are the tiny dots. Remember dot matrix printers).
If you are trying to enlarge a bitmap image, your computer can only enlarge the squares’ size that makeover the area of the picture. You still have courts; this is why bitmap images become jagged when enlarged. Vector images remain smooth because your computer recalculates the points’ coordinates and adjusts the vector equation’s constants without sacrificing quality.
Each set of lines in an image represents separate and distinct objects. Every object can be re-edited at any time. You can open the vector file at any time and change the process to a square, oval, apple, etc. Each object is a separate element within a vector file.
Some designers don’t provide their clients with vector art because most clients will not open the file. If you had a professional logo for you, but all you have is the JPEG file or similar, please contact your artist and ask for the vector art file. Note that unless you have specific software to open the file, you will not be able to open it, but you can send it to the printer, and they should be able to open it.
Familiar computer-based illustrations are known as raster graphics or, for example, a “bitmap.” Wikipedia explains it as follows: “Computer screens are made up of tiny dots called pixels. The image is built from these dots.
The smaller and closer the dots are, the better the image quality, but A larger file will be needed to store the data. Vector art is not made up of pixels at all. So we avoid all the problems of image resolution. Raster graphics are more practical than vector graphics with photos and photorealistic images, while vector graphics are generally better for typesetting or graphic design.
Most promotional product distributors will offer artwork design services along with your order.
Within the company I work for, a creative art department is specifically focused on helping our clients transform logo ideas into clean “camera-ready” illustrations and prepare the entire logo for production.
The artwork fee should only be a one-time cost, and they should provide you with a CD or email version of the finished artwork for your future purchases. Generally, vector artwork will be in the following formats: PDF, EPS, CDR, or AI. But be careful, just because an image is in this format does not mean Vector.
It is possible to paste a bitmap image into a file with these extensions, and it would not be authentic. To test your artwork, try zooming-in as far as possible and test if the image is grainy or has low resolution.
Also, keep in mind that larger corporations and businesses often have specific guidelines for printing their vector logos on any item to protect their brand and image.