Vector Graphics: What they are and why you need them for your business

As a business owner you spend time and money trying to put the best product out there for your customers. The quality of your branding and imagery should match the level of dedication you put into your business. This is where vector graphics come in.

Vector graphics are essentially two-dimensional computer graphics using points positioned on an x and y axis of a work plane. These points are connected by lines and may be appointed different attributes such as stroke color, shape, curve, thickness, and fill. They are used by designers to create logos, text, web imagery, technical drawings, designs for print and more using software such as Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape and Affinity Designer.

Out of the many benefits of using vector graphics, arguably the most important is that they can be scaled as large or small as needed without losing image quality. The same cannot be said for raster based images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF etc.) Raster images are made up of pixels of colors that lose quality when enlarged, and look “pixelated” or “stair-steppy.”

[ The vector image on the left remains crisp, while the scaled Raster image produces a fuzzy result. ]

Scalability is crucial when creating marketing materials of different shapes and sizes. A vector graphic will print just as clear when it’s scaled to fit a billboard as it would be scaled to fit a business card. Vector graphics will always produce clean and sharp looking prints.

Another added benefit of using vector graphics is their editability. The original shapes and text are not flattened, they are contained on their own separate layers, meaning changes can be made to specific objects without affecting other pieces of the image. Color changes, word edits, shape modifying etc. can all be done effortlessly with vector graphics.

Vector graphics produce small file sizes when saved, preserving precious space on your computer’s hard drive. These graphics can be sized accordingly and easily exported as a raster file for use on social media and websites.

So whether creating a business card, direct mail piece, flyer or billboard, it is best practice to use as many vector graphics as possible to ensure the best looking final product.

By Robbie Warner
Art Director

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