One of the first things that our sales representatives are likely to ask you is: “Do you have a vector version of your logo or design?” A common misconception is that we are just using jargon for an image file. Vector art is in fact a specific type of image which is used most commonly online. In our industry it is especially useful for maintaining the integrity of your logo and ensuring you receive the print quality you would expect.
What is vector art?
Vector art or graphics is the use of mathematically equations to represent digital images. Mathematical formulas are written to form artwork using specific calculations. A vector is in essence a path, stroke or line. These are matched up with different points or dots, aligned at specified places on an x and y axis, to form an image. The relationship between these points creates the basis for the design. Each vector can be allocated a colour, thickness, shape and/or fill which provide the complexity to the artwork. The easiest way to visualise vector art is to imagine of layers of connecting lines which are built on top of each other to form an image; unlike rasterised artwork which is one flat design created using a combination of different coloured dots or pixels.
How do you create vector art?
Now unless you are an experienced graphic designer or mathematician, we do not recommend that you embark on trying to create an image yourself. This is a complex process which is best left to a graphic designer. They will use programmes like Adobe Illustrator to create the vector art which is saved as either an .eps or .ai file as opposed to the .jpg and .png files you are likely to be more familiar with.
Why is vector art useful?
Vector artwork is particularly useful for company logos and online artwork. The layered format allows you to resize an image without losing any of the quality. All you need to do is adjust the relationship between the different connecting points. They are particularly useful if you want to combine your logo with other images as you can layer them seamless with other vector files. They are also essential when branding promotional items. The different layers represent the different colours or pantone numbers within the logo which we convert into screens for screen printing. Their scalability comes in handy here as we only need one file regardless of whether we are printing to a pen or t-shirt.