A vector file is one of the two major image types: raster and vector. Understanding the role of different image file types will be beneficial for any marketer as it can assist them with communicating and working effectively with other professional designers and web developers. 

Vector vs. Raster Image Files: What are the differences?

As opposed to raster images, vector images are constructed using mathematical formulas rather than individual colored blocks. For this reason, they allow much more flexibility compared to raster images. Moreover, vector files can also be significantly enlarged or resized.

Among the many vector file types, EPS, AI and PDF files are those that are most commonly used. Yet, depending on how it was originally created, PDF files can actually either act as a vector or raster file.  

Besides PDF file, the two other popular vector types are AI and EPS files. AI is a proprietary, vector file type created by Adobe that can only be created or edited using Adobe Illustrator software. This file type is most commonly used when creating logos, illustrations, and print layouts.

An EPS file, on the other hand, is a vector file of a graphic, text, or illustration. Like other vector files, EPS files can easily be resized and significantly enlarged if needed. It can also be reopened and edited multiple times. 

So, when creating your company‚Äôs logo or other brand visuals, it is highly recommended that you save your graphics as vector files. This makes it possible to use the file for multiple forms of marketing material, whether in print or digital form. 

In contrast, raster images use many colored pixels or individual building blocks to form a complete image. JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs are common raster image types, and almost every photo found on the web and in print catalogs are raster images. However, before using them, it is important to note that once raster images are saved as JPG, PNG or GIF files, they can no longer be modified. 

To prevent yourself from having to go through all the hassle when dealing with freelance graphic designers or agencies, try to remember these key facts about image file types.

Have another view, an anecdote that you would like to share, or just a question for the author? Feel free to comment below!

in Designer Resources Definitions
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