“Say what!?, What is a vector?, Huh?” are common responses that designers get when we ask a client for a vector logo. Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of why you need a vector logo, let’s talk about the definition of a vector graphic.
A vector graphic is created from points, lines, shapes, and curves that are based on mathematical formulas that represent the image on a computer. These elements can be filled with color, blends, tints, or gradients, and have lines with a stroke attribute such as a solid or dashed line with different thicknesses and colors. A vector graphic can be scaled and resized to double or triple its size (or more) while maintaining its smooth, crisp edges. Since your logo will be used in various applications and at different sizes, it is essential that your logo be created as a vector graphic.
An example of this would be to take your vector logo and scale it onto a billboard or sign at 12 feet. The logo will look just as eye pleasing at that size as it did on your business card. However, if your logo is in a raster format (pixel based), JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, RAW, or PSD, and you increased the dimensions, it would lose its luster and be a pixelated, blurred mess (see sample). You don’t want the face of your brand being displayed in an unprofessional manner. For this reason, it is never recommended that you create your logo or other illustrative graphics in a raster format.
Vector logos should be created in vector-based graphic software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw and saved out with the extension, EPS, AI, CDR, or SVG. Unless you have the software you won’t be able to open this file. Don’t worry. This is the file of choice for professional designers and print vendors to ensure your logo is displayed cleanly and neatly.
Now the next time a vendor or designer asks for your vector logo, you’ll have the confident response of, “No problem, we have one of those.” Make sure your logo always looks good, with a vector file.