REMINDER: we do have a complete and experienced Art Department in-house with several graphic artists on-staff -- we can create the necessary files for you if you aren't sure how to, or don't want to, do this yourself.
Call us today at: 906-482-3903 or 800-637-7808
NEW HOURS: Monday- Friday 9:00-5:00 EST
Located at: 224 Shelden Avenue Houghton, Michigan
Please contact us if you have any questions!
Vector -vs- Raster . . .
As most of what clients provide us is Raster based files, and what we need for most of what we do is a Vector based file -- I encourage you to read thru the explanation below to see what the difference is... and why we might end up suggesting that we recreate/reillustrate your logo for you (we aren't just trying to make a buck, sometimes it's the only kind of file that will work).
The short story: we must have Vector for the following:
CAD-cut vinyl applications (for signs or apparel)
Computerized router or laser engraving (plaques and dimensional signs)
if we are to pull apart elements of your logo for any repurposing design work
There is a lot that we do where we can use Raster, but even with these other projects/methods we will probably achieve far superior quality if working from a Vector file instead.
The long story: There are two different types of images used by graph design programs: Raster images (sometimes called "bitmap")and Vector-based images.
Photo Editors (such as Photoshop) are Raster Based
A raster image is made of thousands of little dots, or pixels. Creating or editing an image with dots allows you to provide for rich detail in an image. Because every dot can be a different color, you can allow for any kind of color change. Raster images are wonderful for rendering rich, full-color images, like photographs. Raster-based programs do have some drawbacks, though:
Raster images are file-heavy. All of the zeros and ones that are used to make up each pixel result in large files sizes. Your computer must keep track of the zeros and ones and must change each one when editing. This is memory-intensive and may cause slower editing.
Rasters do not resize well. When you resize a raster image, the pixels just get larger, making the image appear distorted and chunky/grainy.
Illustration Programs (Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, and Auto-CAD) are Vector Based
Vector-based programs, used for non-photo image creation, approach a project in an entirely different manner then a Raster program would. A vector-based program does not render images on a pixel-by-pixel basis as with a Raster image (where a square would be made of thousands of pixel dots) in a Vector program, the same square would be made of only four dots, one on each corner. These “vector points” allow your computer to play connect-the-dots. Each Vector point has information in it telling your computer how to connect each point with straight or curved lines, and with what color to fill in the closed shape.
Because the computer only has to keep four points in its memory, it is much easier for the computer to render Vector-based images, and the file size is typically quite small.
If you resize a vector-based image, it does not loose detail. The vector points simply spread out and the computer just redraws the image.
Vector allows us to pull elements of the illustration apart -- even if we don't need to alter the design, you can imagine how important this can be if we are needing the computer to send data to a machine to tell it "use orange thread for this one area, and to use blue thread for the rest" (technical term: "Separations")
Top right image shows the "framework" of a Vector-based image (in Illustrator, this is the OUTLINE view), and below that, you can see how we are able to grab a point and move it... just incase you wanted a sword fish instead of a dolphin!!