What is Vector Art and why is it important?

Vector Art are computer graphics images that are created using points and lines. Raster images use a grid of pixels that when combined together, create a whole image.

File Formats

VECTOR: .AI, .EPS, .TIFF, .SVG, .ODG, and .CDR are file types are able to store these vectors and points.
PIXELS: .JPEG, .PNG, .PSD and .GIF are pixel friendly file formats used for websites or anything on screen.
.PDFS store a combination of the two, which is why it’s universally used.


Come production time, vector art is more beneficial than any other file.  

  1. You can enlarge or shrink the file to any size you need. Photos will generally pixelate if you try to enlarge.
  2. You can use Pantone and CMYK colors to print accurate colors.
  3. Editing and changes are easier.
  4. Overall image will be crisp and clean.
  5. You can easily save as jpgs or pngs for web, but you can’t save a vector file from a raster/pixeled image.
  6. File sizes are smaller than their jpeg counterparts.


  1. Gradients, filters, shadows and other photo filters, perform better in photoshop or jpgs. Your computer may slow down if you try to add these filters in a vector program such as illustrator.

Where is it used?

Because of its benefits, designers and pros use it for logos and any illustrations that will be printed into a book or magazine. You can go to a printer and enlarge the size output, without having to open the file and edit it. If you want to print a high quality photo, you’d need a large canvas/page size, and save it with a high resolution of 300ppi (pixels per inch) and higher, or 300dpi (dots per inch) and higher. The higher the resolution, the larger your JPEG will be.
Companies that embroider also need a vector file of your logo or art, before converting that file into a file their stitching machine needs.

Live Tracing

Some users with design programs are tempted to use the program’s “live trace” feature. This traces a pixeled image and converts it into vector with just two or three clicks. This feature maybe tempting so you can save time, but it is frowned upon because you may end up tons of points and curves. These millions of points and curves make changes cumbersome, and increases your file size, defeating the purpose. I only recommend using live trace for black and white images only.
If you need a full color image traced into vector, and you don’t have the time, you may need to hire a professional illustrator or graphic designer.

If you’re ready to make that move, book this service via  Square Inc. or Fiverr.com.
Bulk prices are available if you have more than 1 photo conversion.

Roxana Carrion

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