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The Difference Between Vector and Raster

The Difference Between Vector and Raster

You might see the terms "vector" and "raster" but unless you're in graphic design, the print industry, or something similar you probably don't know what they mean. I have no idea what they were until I got into the print industry and started setting up peoples art.

Raster is an image type and it's the one most people are familiar with because it's the most common type. A raster image includes file formats like JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, etc. Raster images are made up of pixels, when these images are enlarged these pixels grow which is what causes images to look low quality or pixelated. Because these images are a certain amount of pixels it's impossible to enlarge them beyond that without losing quality. Raster images are also flat and one solid piece, meaning if you try to manipulate the image you change the entire thing instead of just one piece.

Vector images are less commonly used outside of certain industries, they are typically saved as PDF, EPS, SVG, AI, etc. Unlike raster images, vector images are made up of lines, theses lines can be enlarged to any size without loosing quality. They can also be manipulated easily because they are typically made up of different line all of which can be changed individually.


What do these different image types have to do with rubber stamps?

Well there are 2 different types of stamps that are made, text stamps and custom design stamps. Text stamps are rubber stamps made up of only words, while custom design stamps would include anything else such as: logos, handwriting, etc. Whichever one is being made it needs to be vector, or converted into vector before we're able to make it into a stamp.

Text is vector by default, so unless it's converted to raster we are able to use it without have to recreate it. Images that are raster will have to be traced and converted to vector before we can use it, and images that are already vector just have to be converted to only black and white before we can use it.

Raster images that are traced might not retain as much fine detail as the original image, so it's always best to use a vector image when possible.

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