logo design vector raster

Logo Design – Vector vs Raster

May 7, 2015 Stacy Adams

All the digital images fall under two broad categories; raster and vector. For logo designers, it’s a conundrum of design types and on that note; brood over trends that govern the logo design procedure in the market. It cannot be simply labeled as a war of functionality among the two most used tools in the quiver of Adobe; Illustrator and Photoshop. If you wish you to gather more knowledge on either, we suggest you take on a tutorial for raster design on Photoshop.
 
On popular demand of our valued readers, and to service day-to-day requirements of designers (logo designers in particular) we are sharing with you key points of difference between a vector and raster logo design. Designers are generally aware of the fact that, it’s simple not a matter of choosing which tool i.e. Illustrator or Photoshop. Neither can it be classified as Photoshop usage are mainly towards creating raster images or Illustrator serves the purpose of creating vector based graphics or logo design. No.

A one liner to clear the air of smog and confusion is – it’s a case of object based program.

Did we just say that? Yes we did. We’ll explain to you why.
 
Now, to take the debate of logo design types i.e. vector vs raster we converge on the design details. We have selected a client logo we worked for a few months back. Scaled up version of the logo in raster and vector formats are as below:
 
Raster image
 
A raster image (sometimes known as bitmap) is a collection of many pixels. If you zoom closely on a raster image, you trace out a grid (raster) made up of pixels. When we zoom in too much, a raster image (like the above logo), results in loss of image quality. Square edges (pixels) of the logo are evident around the edges of the image at contrast colors.
 
Tools such as Adobe Photoshop are used to make a raster logo design. Limited by the size of usage, raster images are used for web and printing small images. Digital photos are also made in raster.

Available formats of raster graphics are .jpg, .png, .tiff and .gif.

A vector image can be traced back by LiveTrace, a raster cannot. Remember the path and pixel difference? This is what it means.
 
Laying out a guide of raster image below for best usage:
 
• 72 dpi for computer monitors
• 300 dpi for small printing
• 50 – 100 dpi for large format printing
 
Vector image
 
A vector image is made up of paths. Based on numbers and formulas, vector images are ideally used for business cars, billboards and banners. Evident from the blown up image, the vector logo design retains its smoothness. It will always appear as it has been designed no matter the increments and decrements in size (dimensions) or the level of zoom.
 
As the vector image is created and saved on Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, or Corel Draw, you’ll have more room to play edit-and-save and that too in variety of different sizes. Vector images are used for print such as banner ads, brochure and flyers. Any requirement of scaling can be easily adjusted in a vector image. There are several types of vector graphic formats, most commonly used type is EPS (Encapsulated PostScript). An EPS vector file with same dimension as a raster file will be lighter and smaller in byte size. On the downside of it, vector files are not design to have large, complex array of color complexity as raster files.
 
So, to wrap up we can say that if you are using few, solid colors with small printing and web usage in mind, use Photoshop for raster images. When making scalable graphic image, such as logo designs, banner ads and outdoor printing, vector design is the best.
 
That is all for now. Stay tuned for more because we’ll be sharing more informative tips and tutorials for designers next week.
 
Photo Credits: Neglia Design
 

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