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Let's Talk Logos: Vectors vs. Rasters

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

File extensions .AI, .EPS, .CDR, and sometimes .PDF

What is a “Vector” logo?

If we are working on a project together (yay), it will likely come up at one point or another, to please send the vector file for your logo. This word "vector" sounds familiar, like maybe it came up in school or in kitchenware; so it’s probably safe to say you have it stored on your computer somewhere. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. A vector file is a special file type used by professional graphic designers. Vectors use a mathematical equation instead of pixels to show your logo. This ensures that whether your logo is on a business card, website or billboard, its integrity will remain. Vectors make sure your logo will never look pixelated, altered or stretched. They usually end in the file extensions .AI, .EPS, .CDR, or sometimes .PDF

A Vector is NOT:

A file that ends in extension . JPG, .DOCX, .PNG or .GIF (Sorry!).

When you send a file like this, its like sending a PICTURE of your logo, instead of just sending your logo. That’s because these files are pixel-based (raster images), not vectors. If I receive a file like this, I most likely won't be able to work with it because the quality is too low. Bummer.

So what IS a vector?

A vector is a rendering of your logo that uses a mathematical equation to show your logo instead of pixels. This ensures that no matter how we shrink or stretch your logo, it will always maintain its original integrity…in other words, it will NEVER look pixelated, stretched, or "off". Vectors can also contain necessary information for your brand, such as specific fonts used, color profiles and additional graphic elements. They help us create more efficient and precise work for your business.

A NOTE ABOUT COLOR: It's important to remember that depending on what surface your logo is being displayed on, the color profile may vary. For example, the color of your logo on a cell phone, will always be a slightly different shade than if printed in a magazine (or even on another phone!) Thats's because we each perceive color differently and so do the products and materials we use. Color profiling assists in maintaining your voice and visibility through the crowd. To learn more about how your marketing materials portray color, you can read about it here.

Where do I get a vector logo file?

Chances are, if you hired a graphic designer, they should have your vector logo file! They likely created your logo in a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, so they can send over the file. If you never received this file from your designer, you should give them a call and request it! This is literally what you are paying for when you get your logo made. It protects your logo so that you can be sure when you send it to another designer, printer, or partner, it will always look the same across any platforms.

What if my 15 year old niece made my logo and I don’t have a vector?

If this is the case, don't worry! We can help recreate your logo from scratch using a vector based program. We will try our best, to match it as close as possible to the original. We'd also be happy to brainstorm ways to connect your logo to your message and audience (We love a rebrand!).

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