Why Vector Graphics Are Important
I think one of the most challenging aspects of working in the sign industry is obtaining the proper artwork from our clients. Oftentimes, we have customers bring in a small business card with their logo on it – to see if we can use that to create their huge sign or vehicle graphics. We don’t blame you. It seems to make perfect sense. We need your logo and you’re providing it – looking just the way you want it. The reality is, we need your logo in a vector (line-art or drawing) format. Let me explain what this means:
- Vector graphics use geometrical shapes, points, lines, and curves, which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics.
- Unlike bitmap images, it’s resolution independent and allows graphics images to be enlarged to any size, without any loss of quality. You can move, resize, and change the color of vector graphics!
The text in red above is the key factor here. If we’re going to adjust the color of your logo and increase the size dramatically, we need to ensure that it prints exactly the way you want it. To achieve this, we need to be able to click on the different shapes and letters within your logo to select the proper colors for test printing. If we’re able to do this, we can test several different colors until we get it just right. If we only have a small scanned version of your logo from your business card or a low res version from the graphic artist you used, not only is the resolution bad when we blow it up to larger proportions, but were unable to manipulate the colors for you.
*I want to break here and explain that the resolution of your graphics determines the degree of detail visible in a vector (illustrated image) or photograph.
We want to save you the time, money and frustration it can take when it comes to providing us with the proper logo files. I’d like to suggest you be upfront with your original graphic artist to be sure they’ll provide you with the line-art vector files from the very beginning. Feel free to tell them exactly what your expectations are up front. That way you can rest easy knowing that those files will be yours to do any advertising/marketing you need moving forward. Ensuring this super important outcome will make everything much easier moving forward.
Filename extensions used for vector graphics are generally Adobe Illustrator ai files. As long as you have those, you’re set! When you have an Adobe ai file, any graphic artist can save it in several different file extension formats for your various needs, such as eps, pdf, jpg and more! Oftentimes vector (line-art) files are also saved as eps and pdf. But be sure to clarify that you want a vector (line-art) file because oftentimes an eps and pdf can be flattened like a photograph and will no longer be edited the way a vector graphic can. When a file is flattened, a white background is attached and it’s almost like a photograph. You can adjust the tones and curves of the color but you can’t get in there to adjust the specific colors. When we receive your vector graphic files, we can size your logo up HUGE to apply to the side of your new white van or blow it up for your massive new business sign with the best clarity and accuracy as possible.
At e3 signs, we’re fully capable of re-drawing and re-creating your logo files, if you’re interested in investing in that option. We always try to work with our clients first to get the best possible files from them. If it’s not possible and you’re sick of the headache time and time again, we’d be happy to quote you a price at an hourly rate – to reproduce your logo. At that point, the line art files are yours to keep. We’re happy to help make things easier for our clients.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more clarification regarding this topic. We look forward to working with you!