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Raster vs. Vector: What's the Difference?

Our goal is to bring your ideas to life, your concepts into reality. We want to design a product that exceeds all your expectations. One of the ways we carry out this goal is by using the best possible file type for your design: vector graphics. Vectors offer a better end product than the more common alternative known as raster graphics.

Now you may have a particular image already in mind; perhaps something you designed yourself. If the file does not much the necessary standard of quality, we may have to recreate the file. With this in mind, we recommend you provide us with a rough concept and then work with our creative team of expert designers to prepare your design.

You may still be wondering, why does it matter? What’s the difference between raster graphics vs. vector graphics? Here’s a quick run down.

The primary difference between vector and raster graphics is that raster graphics are composed of pixels, while vector graphics are composed of paths. A pixel is a physical point in a picture (a single dot of color), which is arranged along with thousands of other points. Most images you see on the screen of your computer, tablet or cellphone are raster graphics. Raster graphics are resolution-specific, meaning trying to scale a raster graphic most often results in loss of quality. While rasters may be scaled down (to an extent), trying to make a raster graphic larger will result in a blurry and rough-edged image. Raster graphics are less economical, less versatile and more unwieldy to work with than vector graphics. Common raster graphics include BMP, TIF, GIF, PCX or JPG file formats.

Vector graphics are best for printing because the file is created and saved as a sequence of commands or mathematical statements. While raster graphics consist of a large grouping of points in a grid, vector graphics use mathematical formulas to describe the image. Consequently, vector graphic files are much smaller, are infinitely scalable and always print a crisp image. They are also more malleable than raster images: vectors are much more versatile, flexible and easy to use. Vector graphics typically come in any of the following file formats: AI, EPS, DXF, SVG or PDF.

The bottom line is that vector graphics are far better than raster graphics for print quality and setup. If you’re still unsure about the difference and would rather we handle the design, we would be glad to help! If you haven’t reached out yet, get started on a quote by clicking here.