WHAT IS A VECTOR FILE? - Sovereign Print


Vector files are a type of digital file that is commonly used when creating website graphics, logos and illustrations by manipulating mathematical equations. Vector files are different from Raster artwork, which is made up of pixels and is resolution-dependent. Common examples of Raster files include JPEG, GIF and PNG.

Vector artwork is created using graphics software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. These programs allow you to draw shapes and lines with mathematical equations called ‘vectors’. You can then manipulate these vectors to change the shape and size of the artwork as needed.

Vector files are typically used when artwork needs to be scaled up in size for large-scale printing purposes. Using a vector file allows the image to be increased without becoming pixelated. Unlike Raster files that lose sharpness when scaled up.

The ability to scale vector graphics without losing sharpness is also useful when digital design will be viewed on different devices like mobiles or tablets, where there will be varying screen resolutions.

Another advantage of vector artwork is that it is easy to edit. If you need to make changes to your artwork, you can simply select the vector path and modify it. This is much easier than trying to make changes to a raster image, which would require you to manipulate individual pixels.

There are several different vector file formats available and some of the more common ones are ai, eps, svg and pdf files.

Adobe Illustrator (AI) – This is one of the most widely used vector graphic formats. It’s often used for logos, illustrations, infographics, and other design projects. AI files are the primary file format used when working with Adobe Illustrator, the most popular vector graphics software for professionals.

Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) – EPS files are similar to AI files but use PostScript instead of an XML structure. EPS is a common format for CAD drawings and can also be used as an interchangeable format between applications.

Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG) – SVG supports both raster and vector graphics within XML markup tags. The format was designed for use on the web because it supports interactivity with scripting languages like JavaScript. SVG files are widely used to display sharp company logos on websites.

Portable Document Format (.PDF) – PDF files are easy to view on most PC’s without the need for specialist software like AI. PDF’s are commonly used for print proofs as these files can also be edited by designers using illustrator.  

Unsure which format you should use to send us artwork? Contact our team today who will be more than happy to talk you through the requirements.