Two Basic Graphic Design File Images: Raster and Vector

• Raster Image

Raster images are based on pixels. Here’s a good explanation as defined by “”

Most images you see on your computer screen are raster graphics. Images found on the Web and photos you import from your digital camera are raster graphics. They are made up of grid of pixels. The larger the image, the more disk space the image file will take up.

Raster graphics can typically be scaled down with no loss of quality, but enlarging a raster image causes it to look blocky and “pixelated.” As you can see in the illustration above, when a raster image is enlarged too much, the image quality is compromised. For this reason raster images are not used to create logos.

File extension: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF are examples of raster images.

Vector Image

Unlike JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF images, vector graphics are not made up of a grid of pixels. Instead, vector graphics are comprised of paths. A path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or even typefaces.

In vector images– you can see the blue path lines that comprise the lines, curves, and shapes. Because vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. When you blow up a vector graphic, the edges of each object within the graphic stay smooth and clean. This makes vector graphics ideal for logos, which can be small enough to appear on a business card, but can also be scaled to fill a billboard.

File extensions: EPS, AI are examples of vector images.

What is the Take Away?

All logos MUST BE CREATED AS A VECTOR FILE. Let me say that again…All logos MUST BE CREATED AS A VECTOR FILE!!!

If you do not have your logo in an AI or EPS file format you will have few options to actually use your logo. No matter where your logo is placed or what type of file format your vendor requires. All the various file formats must be generated from the original VECTOR file. So, make sure that your graphic designer has your logo in a vector file. From the vector file any other of the other file types can be generated.

So, make sure your graphic designer is a professional, trusted resource that will supply you with a logo in the vector format.

Logo Design & Baseball

A hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz.
– Humphrey Bogart

Let’s go with the baseball analogy.

It is summer, it the second half of the 2011 baseball season. And…our very own Phillies have THE best record in the major leagues. So, life is good!

What I love about baseball is the simplicity of watching the game. A player pitches the ball, a player hits the ball and a player tries to catch the ball. And, for this reason, baseball is America’s favorite pastime. And, yes, the simple pleasure of a hot dog at the ballpark beats a five star restaurant any day! Why…because it is not complicated nor pretentious.

Same thing with a logo. Simple logo designs beat complicated logo designs every time. A simple logo design is easily recognizable, it is memorable, it is practical; it is not pretentious.

Let’s go with the baseball analogy.

Baseball: A player pitches the ball.
Logo Design: Business sends ezine.

Baseball: A player hits the ball.
Logo Design: Consumer connects with website.

Baseball: A player catches the ball.
Logo Design: Consumer buys products and services.

Simple & easy.

Your business stands out with consumers when you send a message that is simple, consistent and distinctive. Your logo and brand should reflect who you are. You want to connect with your customers on an emotional level. Your customers need to understand you. If you have a complicated logo/and or brand, consumers will pass you by. They will not remember you or your business.

In baseball, a batter needs to “see” the pitch to get a hit. In business, a consumer needs to “see” your business to buy from your business. A clean, simple logo will help your potential customers remember who you are, what they can get from your business, and why they should come back to you.

I’m not going to use Nike, as a visual, but let’s face it – who doesn’t know the Nike logo.

Instead – think of a business that you trust – what is their logo? Does their logo represent their business in an uncomplicated way. Can you relate to their logo? When you see their logo – do you think of that business? Does the logo uniquely represent its owner ?

I’m gonna use my logo as an example. I am not famous, nor world-renowned, but I have been designing for awhile, and folks will say to me – yeah, Derrick , you have that flower thing going. So, what does that tell me? It tells me that the consumer remembers me, my name and my logo! What more could I ask? I say that is a “home run” in the field of logos!