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What is a Vector file?

Vector Images

A vector file is a file format that stores the lines and shapes of the image as points and mathematical equations. They are typically smaller than pixel based images and can be scaled to any resolution without losing quality. This makes them a great format to use when creating Logos and images that have solid shapes.

Typical Vector image formats are SVG, PDF, AI & EPS.

Raster Images

Raster images are made up of lots of little dots called pixels. When you scale a raster image up the pixels will get bigger and you will lose quality. This is often called pixelation.

Typical Raster image formats are JPEG & PNG.

Below are interactive examples of what happens when you zoom in to a Raster image compared to a Vector image.
Hover over the images to view the difference.



Mixed files

One last thing to mention is that its also possible to save raster images within vector files and have a mixture of raster/vector elements. The easiest way to check if a vector file is completely made up of vector shapes is to zoom in on the image and see if you can see the individual pixels.

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