If you have ever dealt with a print shop, sign shop, or a graphic designer, odds are they asked you for your company logo in a vector file format. Although you may not have ever heard of one before, here’s a bit of background on our industry jargon.

Let’s start with files that you’ve used all the time: jpeg files. These are considered raster images. You’ve probably noticed that if you increase the size of a jpeg (raster) image, it becomes pixelated.  Now imagine trying to scale all the way up to the size needed to cover the side of a truck. Clearly, that type of file won’t work. You’ll end up with a blurry, pixelated blob!

A vector file, on the other hand, is designed to scale up or down in size while retaining the integrity of the shape of the logo. Vector files are typically created in software specifically used by graphic designers. The file names end with the .ai or .eps extension. Since you most likely do not have that software, you won’t be able to open those files on your PC. But your commercial printer will. If you no longer have your logo in those file formats, a designer will be able to convert them for you. But that will come at a cost. So, make sure to keep those files handy for future reference!

For a visual example of the difference between the two file types, check out our Raster versus Vector 3-minute video.