Vector vs. Raster - Why Does It Matter?

So many time's I've seen small businesses using logos and graphics that were not created correctly for their intended use. The logo is fuzzy or blurry, not clean and crisp, and looks unprofessional. Most of the time it's either because the small business owner created the graphic them self, or, they paid a "logo creator" to create their logo or graphic, and the output was raster, then scaled up, losing the proper resolution.

Why is raster a problem? Well it's not - quite. Let's say you, a small business owner, pays a budget-friendly self-proclaimed "logo creator" to do a logo for your business. A "logo creator" may not have had any training in specific file types, and will use free or discounted programs like Canva to create a logo, which only outputs in raster files. That's probably fine if you're using the logo in only the size they gave you, and never plan on scaling it up. Or if you're creating a Pinterest pin graphic once.

However, 99 times out of 100, you'll need to use that same logo to print business cards, flyers, T-shirts, post on social media, etc. It's inevitable you'll need to scale the logo up to accommodate your collateral. If you use a raster file, you'll begin to lose resolution and clarity, resulting in a fuzzy, and unprofessional logo.

A professional designer will have the knowledge to use the correct program to design your logo. Typically this is using the software Adobe Illustrator, as a majority of logos are created in vector format which AI primarily supports. This allows logos to be scaled infinitely without any loss of resolution. Want to use your logo to create the largest vinyl car decal? Post a banner on the side of a building? Or just always have a crisp logo design for anything you use it for? Vector format is it. If you're hiring anyone to create a logo, I strongly suggest you require a vector format output.

I created the chart below to give a clear visual of the differences between the programs. There's a time and a place for both. Make sure you and whoever is creating your logos and graphics are informed in what file type to output.