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This topic often confuses people. A PDF document itself is not a vector file. However, a vector file/image can be "embedded" within a PDF document. This begs two important questions - how can you tell if the embedded file is a vector or raster image, and, are there any considerations to consider when a vector file is embedded within a PDF document? First, one of the easiest ways to tell if the image is raster or vector, open the PDF document in Adobe Reader. Then enlarge the image - enlarge it to at least 600% or more - you will notice either the image starts to distort, or it doesn't. If it distorts, it's raster - if not, it's vector. Another thing to consider is, if the vector file has transparency. By default, Adobe will open the PDF document with a white background. So not only will you not see transparency, but you will not see anything colored white if it's on the white background. See below for example - you cannot see the top part of the white text. However, if you change the preferences, you can "Show Transparency Grid" which will then display the white on white, and all areas that are transparent, as seen below: Hopefully this clears up any confusion regarding vector images contained/embedded in a PDF document. Feel free to ask us any questions using our support page.
Modern day businesses use their logo everywhere - letterhead, invoices, websites, merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, etc.), billboards, vehicle vinyl wrap and much more. Obviously, the physical size of the logo on each one of these is very different. If you only have your logo in raster file format, you will not be able to use that file for larger products. Raster files are typically JPG, GIF, PNG and BMP. There are others, but these are the most common types of raster images people use for general logo purposes on smaller scale projects - such as letterhead or websites. Raster images are made up of small dots (called pixels), much like newspaper print. So, if you enlarge it, it will become blurry and distort. To avoid this problem, a vector image must be used. Vector files are made up of mathematical points which can be scaled infinitely without loss of quality. Vector images are available in many different formats. AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, DXF and others. Depending on the use, a specific format may be required. For example, you want some t-shirts with your logo on it to hand out to customers for promotional gifts. You call your t-shirt company, and they say they require your logo in AI or EPS format. But you only have a JPG. This is when you would need to have your JPG converted to an AI or EPS file. Some vendors may not work with vector files (although rare) - they may say they need a JPG at 3000 pixels in width - the only one you have is 400 pixels in width - if you enlarge it to meet their requirements, it will be blurry and most likely unusable. This is where vector files shine! Think of your vector file as your "master file". If you have a vendor that wants a vector file - easy! Just send them your vector file - no matter what your project size requirements are, all they need is your vector file. Now let's say the vendor needs a larger JPG file - if you have your logo in vector format - no problem! Vector files can be exported (with the proper software) at any size in raster format. Now you could send them your logo in JPG format, at 3000 pixels in width with ZERO distortion or blurriness! Have a question? Ask us!
Photos can be converted into a vector file - but there are a few things to consider. First, you can expect to lose some detail in the photo. Depending on how much detail is lost really depends on how much detail you are starting with. For instance, a low resolution photo will likely lose a lot of detail in the converted vector file - mainly because there wasn't a lot of detail to start with. Even highly detailed photos will lose some degree of detail after the image is converted to vector format. Second, if the photo is being hand-converted to vector, it will take a lot longer to complete compared to a solid color logo for instance - thus a much higher cost. You can also have a photo "auto converted" by software, but auto converted vector images tend to be converted with undesirable results. There are free and paid auto conversions available online (we do them too), but we don't recommend this method - we consider it a last resort and only an option if you can't afford the hand converted process. Lastly, when you convert a photo into a vector image, the resulting file will have hundreds, sometimes thousands of shapes and paths. This makes the file very difficult to edit or change once converted. If editing the vector file after conversion isn't needed, then this might not be a problem. These are the major considerations when converting a raster image (jpg, png, bmp, etc) into a vector image (AI, EPS, SVG, etc). If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using our support page. Thank you!
Hi everyone! We're so excited to announce our new blog! This blog will feature not only information on vector files, interesting information, how to's, etc - but it will also showcase some of our before and after vector jobs! We want to take a minute and thank all of our customers for using our services! We truly appreciate you! We will start adding to the blog as of today, so come back often and check for updates. Have a great day! VF Customer Service