Logo File Formats: Raster vs. Vector

Logo File Formats: Raster vs. Vector


The wide variety of image file formats makes it hard to pick the right one when you need to export or use your file. It’s so easy to get lost in the process especially when it comes to your logo.

When do you need a PNG logo? Where can you use your logo saved in SVG? And so many other questions that require answers. You simply need to understand the importance and usage of different image formats. Once you do it, you’ll never be in doubt of which format your logo needs to be saved in.

If you look at the image files, you can see different extensions such as JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, etc. These different formats are optimized for specific uses - for web or for printed materials. But all of them fall under two main categories: raster graphics and vector files.

 vector vs. raster

Source: TheWebGuy

In this article, we’ll find out the difference between raster and vector image file formats, their usage, and which are the most common logo file formats.



  1. Raster Graphics


Most of the graphics we see on the web fall under the raster graphics category. These images consist of a certain number of colored squares - pixels. Because of that exact number of pixels, these images look blurry and pixelated when they are stretched, they are not scalable.

The most common formats in this category are JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and PSD.



JPG (JPEG) - Joint Photographic Experts Group


JPG is a lossy raster format which is one of the most commonly used image file formats on the web. When the JPG file is compressed, the image loses some pixels and its quality. Besides, it doesn’t support transparency, so it’s not suitable for logos. These files are simple to code, compress, and store, this is why they are perfect as web images. They don’t take long to load due to their small file sizes.



PNG - Portable Network Graphics


The two main advantages of this format are supporting transparency and being lossless. Though they are raster files, they keep the high quality of the image after compression, but still, they become blurry after increasing the image size. This format is perfect for web images, icons, and logos where a transparent background is required but it’s not suitable for print materials.



GIF - Graphics Interchange Format


One of the characteristics of this format that stands out is its animated form. GIFs are widely used on the web for animated banners, ads, and memes. When other formats are compressed to a GIF file they lose the colors but it helps to reduce the image size.



  1. Vector File Formats


Vector files are flexible files which are made from lines and shapes instead of colored pixels. They are mathematical equations which makes them more scalable and easier to resize. Besides, they don’t lose their quality in the process. These files are mostly used for creating branding and print materials. Most commonly, these files are edited with Adobe Illustrator.



EPS - Encapsulated PostScript


EPS files are highly compatible vector files which can be used in many design editors. Besides, they can be edited and resized without any effects on quality. These files are considered as master files and are mostly used in graphic design and large-scale professional printing. Raster files can be saved as EPS files and behave as vectors. This format is also used for logos and other branding materials.



SVG - Scalable Vector Graphic


These vector files are mostly used for the web. SVG files can be scaled to any size without loss in quality like other vector files. Moreover, SVG files are XML-based, thus it’s possible to view them in browsers, with different devices, and software. This file format is used for print materials, website images and icons. It’s also recommended for logos.



AI - Adobe Illustrator (.ai)


AI is created by Adobe for an easier file transfer within its software. AI is considered a raw vector file which is editable, flexible, and can be saved in any other file format - vector and raster files. Most of the designers use Adobe Illustrator to create different branding elements, logos, print materials, illustrations, and artwork from scratch.



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