Why Are Vector Files Actually Important for Web Design?

All digital graphics are created in one of two formats: raster or vector. Raster files are made up of pixels, the tiny squares that, when combined, create a complex image. The more pixels an image has, the higher the resolution and image quality it creates. On the other hand, vector files are more flexible for your web design.

Here’s why: the inherent problem with raster files is that you are unable to add pixels to the file after you have created it, meaning attempting to make the picture larger will decrease its image quality, causing the image to appear distorted. So what happens if you need to print a company logo or photo in a much larger size?

The versatility of vector files

Vector files are the solution to this image. Rather than being made with pixels, vector graphics use mathematical equations to develop smooth, solid lines that do not pixelate. No matter the size of the image, it will always be in high resolution. Vector files are also completely editable, meaning you can make any changes you wish to your graphic in the future without having to start from scratch.

This is not to say there is no place for using raster files. Photographs, for example, can only be saved as raster images because they are inherently made up of tiny dots of color. Professional photographs, however, come in very high resolution, which makes the quality appear much better.

Other designers simply prefer to design in Photoshop, a raster-based program, versus Illustrator or InDesign. This would necessitate the use of raster files.

Ultimately, you will likely need to work with both raster and vector images in your web design. But here are the specific areas in which vector images have an advantage:

  • Printing: Printing is much more complicated with a raster image. You will either need to have the original file saved as a high-res image, or you will have to decrease the size of a low-res image to get it to print in high resolution. With a vector image, you can simply choose your desired size and print.vector files
  • Editing: Making any edits to a raster file is quite difficult, especially if you do not have the original file on hand. If you ever want to, say, update your logo with a new tagline, colors or other design elements, it is in your best interest to use a vector file.
  • Resizing: You are only able to maintain a good quality with your raster image up to the original size of the image. Vector images allow you to blow up the image as large as you want without sacrificing the quality.

Finally, keep in mind that vector files can be saved/exported as raster files, but raster files cannot be turned into vector files. You should keep a vector copy at all times, even if you end up using the raster file for specific applications. In conclusion, vector files are very important for your web design so make sure to always have them on file!


Contact us today at Conroy Creative Counsel for more design information and tips!

Vector files web design

Vector files web design
Vector files web design

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