What Is a Vector Image and Why You Need One for Your Next Design Project

You’ve been hard at work gathering inspiration and other materials for your next design project, so don’t let a mistake like choosing the wrong file format or tool stop you from getting started. When it comes to design, file types matter, and the right one can mean the difference between a logo that looks great without artifacts of any size (perfect for today’s various digital devices and printing needs) vs. which is a bit of a pixelated mess when viewed in any dimension other than its native dimensions.

Vector files, unlike rasters, are made up of lines and shapes, not individual pixels, so that you can stretch and resize them to your heart’s content without reducing quality or fidelity. in the source file. Rasters, on the other hand, are best viewed at a specific size or smaller, as they are made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny dots that correspond to specific colors and their location within. Because rasters are typically compressed from a raw source file to a lossy format, they are likely to have artifacts and other visual issues even at their native resolution, and it will only get worse as you resize, crop, and change the settings. colors for different uses. time.

Before you start thinking about how to make a vector image, it’s important to understand the basics of when and where to use vectors versus raster images.

Why vector images?

If you’ve ever tried to increase the size of a typical image you find online, chances are you’ve encountered the number one use case for vectors. Vectors are perfect representations of the original format, regardless of size, and scale up or down with no problem. This is in stark contrast to raster or pixelated images that look best at native or lower resolution and cannot be manipulated without losing quality and fidelity in the process.

The secret is that vectors are made up of scalable lines and shapes embedded with true colors, not the fuzzy matrix of color per pixel you’ll find with raster images. Funny enough though, most images you find online are meant to be misrepresentations of their sources, mostly for bandwidth reasons, and for specific applications, such as on a specific web page at a specific size. . In fact, the file size of a raster image can be a fraction of its full uncompressed size. Multiply that by the dozens or hundreds of images found on a typical web page and it can mean the difference between a page that loads in a second or two and something that crawls for 10 or 20 seconds before a visitor follows it and go away.

Unfortunately, however, vectors are a bit more complicated to create than your average raster image, which typically limits their use to frequently resized logos and designs, although raster images are popular formats for exported versions of vector images. But regardless of your bandwidth needs or the file type of your final image export, working with a vector gives you the most flexibility and maneuverability when it comes time to create that web page, newsletter, or application, because you can easily manipulate and stretch a vector before a raster export – just make sure you have the original source vector handy.

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So, without further ado, here’s how to make a vector logo.

Step 1: Choose Your Tool

Because there are so many imaging tools out there, from quick online tools to full-featured desktop apps that take years or decades to master, you can It can be hard to know where to start with vectors.

One of the most popular tools is Adobe Illustrator, which is industry-standard graphics software for Mac, PC, and other platforms.

Other solutions, such as Our free online logo maker tool takes a lot of the guesswork out of creating a vector logo by providing you with template designs and step-by-step guidance that can help newbies create vector-based logos with minimal effort and time.

In general, if you’re new to vectors, you’re probably better off with an online tool that will guide you through the process of creating a vector logo quickly and easily. Illustrator and other full-featured desktop tools are better for experienced designers with their steep learning curves and expensive pricing structures.

Step 2: Choose your colors and decide on a concept

Yes If you’re designing a corporate logo or a little flourish for a social media profile or just something simple for your portfolio, you’ll have some decisions to make before you get to the design parts. For vectors and logos, less is more, so choose two or three colors that work well together and think about the general direction you want to go with your vector logo. Once you’ve established the colors and concept, you’re ready to start designing.

Step 3: Make a Sketch

Before you start clicking, grab a pad of paper , crayons, colored pencils, markers, pens, whatever you have available, and sketch out a handful of ideas.Try different colors, shades, and accents; The more ideas you try here, the better equipped you’ll be when you jump on the computer. Especially if you’re not well-versed in computer design, you’ll save a ton of time and headache with reliable tools before you start navigating through menus, keystrokes, and clicks. Even a pen and a piece of lined paper are great for jotting down quick ideas that would take you a lot longer to do on your computer, and may not work anyway.

Step 4: Start designing your logo

In Illustrator, create a new blank document (File > New) and start with the Shape tool. Pick one of your colors and start drawing and manipulating shapes while making use of your reference sketches, layering where necessary and arranging everything in the concept and colors you chose in the previous step. Realistically, you’ll need to be familiar with several design concepts and principles (and have plenty of time) to turn your blank canvas into something resembling a full logo.

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Here’s a basic guide that can help you create one. basic illustration.

How to vectorize a logo

If you already have a raster logo or a design that you’d like to convert to a vector for resizing in an application, the good news is that you can use Illustrator or other vector-based design tools to trace your existing image and then modify it from there.

Here’s a great article explaining just that from our friends over at MakeUseOf, but keep in mind that It could take hours or days to correctly trace an image, especially if you are new to Illustrator or have limited knowledge of design. And unless you’re looking to become a designer by trade, your time can be better spent taking advantage of tools that make the process easier and allow you to start by exploring designs, not staring at a blank screen.

Creating a logo from templates

Our online logo creation services (and other online tools like ours) take a lot of the guesswork out of logo creation by providing you with several professional templates and ready-made logos to choose from. you can modify, adjust and save for your own use.

Start by loading our free logo maker and choose from a few standard logo styles.

Examples of initial, icon, badge, and text logo styles.

Next, choose a font that captures the design aesthetic you’re looking for. In general, serif fonts, which have decorative lines and tapers, look and feel more traditional than sans serif fonts, which capture a more modern look. But these are not absolute; there are many ways to make a serif look more modern or to make a sans serif look more traditional. Even if you’re not sure, or you’ll know when you see it, you can choose multiple fonts and see how text treatment can give your design a different character.

After that, simply choose the layout that best represents your intended use, whether it’s a little layout on top with text below, text in the middle, text to the side, or whatever. to be. it’s what catches your eye.

Examples of four different logo placements.

With all your options selected, we’ll show you several logo concepts that fit your parameters and preferences. If you change your mind, you can easily customize the results from the left-hand bar, or you can search for specific logos as a starting point using our custom logo search.

Once you’ve chosen a design, customize it by clicking click the edit button. Here, you can review the layout, colors, and text in an easy-to-use editor that does much of the heavy lifting for you.

Step 5: Save Your Logo

When You’re Done After editing and adjusting your design, it’s time to save. This is usually done in your program’s File > Save or Export menu. But be careful. You’ll want to save your logo in the correct format to ensure compatibility and the ability to resize it later. If you save as png, tiff, gif, jpeg, or other raster exports (tip: make sure you know the proper file types for image transparency), all your work will be wasted unless you also save a vectorized version.

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The good thing is that there are many vectorized file formats, and any of them are fine to ensure that your design is future-proof. AI (Adobe Illustrator Artwork) is Illustrator’s native file format. When you go to save your file, it will usually have this default file type, and if you just want to work in Illustrator and other systems that open and work with AI files, there’s not much else you need to do.

However, if you want to collaborate with others or pass the file on to the client for additional uses, it may be better to opt for a standard vector file type that doesn’t limit your options. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) are two universal file types that work in various programs; SVG also has the distinction of being compatible with most web browsers, and it’s not a bad idea to save multiple copies of your logo in AI, EPS and SVG format to cover all your needs.

Our designer Free Logo Maker does this, and it’s a crucial aspect of vector-based designs; After all, if you don’t have your logo source file in multiple supported formats, you may be limited in the changes you can make in the future. Once you’ve saved your vector in the appropriate vector-based formats, you may also want to save the raster versions for email or other uses, though you can always go back and create an export when necessary. Keep in mind that many social media platforms still rely on raster images of specific sizes, so you’ll need to export them anyway.

Vector-based design to win!

With these simple tips, we hope we’ve helped you understand the benefits of using vectors in your important design projects. While there are still many uses for raster images in digital design, vectors are better for logos and images that need to work across multiple devices, screens, print applications, etc.

Seriously, once you use vector, you win I never want to deal with blurry, pixelated raster images again. We don’t blame you and welcome you to the vector side. Better yet, cut time on your next vector-based logo project and try our free tool. It’s easy for novices, those new to design, and even experts can reduce design time by loading one of our beautiful designs into your favorite editing tool.


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