San Jose Signs | Vector vs. Raster: The image files


San Jose Signs | Vector vs. Raster: The image files

San Jose Signs receive many files from our clients to be used in their sign projects. Like all sign companies, we are faced with the same problem with explaining the difference between file types and formats.

Vector and Raster images can both be used in sign making, however, many people do not know what the difference is between the two formats.

Raster graphics are bitmap images that use a grid of individual pixels where each pixel can be a different color or shade. Bitmaps are composed of pixels. Digital photographs are good examples of Raster images. The more you zoom in, the more pixelated the image becomes. (See example 2) The higher the resolution, the better the output, however the file size will be increased which can be lead to memory problems when outputting large prints.

In the sign industry, we prefer Vector graphics. Vector graphics are not limited to resolution and can be scaled to any size without losing quality. Because vector graphics are ‘line-art’, (See example 1) the file type is not hindered by pixelization when zooming or scaling. Also, the format is great for memory usage, as the files rarely exceed 1MB.


For more information about the differences between the two formats, visit the Wikipedia web page dedicated to this discussion:

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