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Several months ago I sent out an email to many previous customers to find out why they had not ordered a vector conversion in a long time. The number one reason was the economy making their business slow, but I was surprised at the second reason. “I am printing more and cutting vinyl less frequently.”

If you are printing business cards and letterhead where imperfect art is acceptable due to small sizes, then this makes perfect sense. However, even a print file will reveal poor quality and only gets worse the larger you try to print it. Here  are some common misconceptions about vector art and how it compares to raster art (pixels).

“I only use photoshop and have no use for vectors” You can import a vector into photoshop and automatically chose the size and resolution you want to use. Keep the vector on file and the next time a customer wants that logo printed larger you do not have to resample, just open the vector again and change the size and resolution.

import vector into photoshop

“Vectors are only for cut vinyl” If you want to resize your graphic or logo infinitely with no loss in quality you need a vector file. A vector file will allow you to edit size, colors, and positions of one or more elements in the graphic.

“I can print a logo that I copied from a webpage” If you only plan on printing the logo at that size or smaller, then yes this is probably true. However, blowing up this graphic will surely look horrible. Your customer will likely be unhappy with the final results. Another problem you run into is the “white box” syndrome. If you place this graphic on a colored background or photograph, the logo will often have a white box surrounding the image. Many logos on websites are not transparent, so the white box will show up when placed on anything other than a white background. With a vector, there is no background. White elements on a logo can be white or clear.

raster vs. vector comparison

low res image showing the white box

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