What is a Vector Logo?
A vector logo is an image designed as the logo for a particular company or service, which is created using vector imaging software rather than as a raster image. This type of logo is often designed for use in large formats, such as on billboards or posters, though it can just as easily be used on business cards and small fliers as well. A vector logo can be created using a number of different software programs that use vector imaging, which uses geometry and shapes, rather than raster imaging, which uses pixels.
There are typically two basic aspects of a vector logo: it is made using a computer software program that creates vector images, and it is a logo for a company or service. A logo typically refers to an image that represents a company in a way that is recognizable and unique. This image is typically protected as a trademark or service mark for a particular company, and will often be used on advertising materials for that company, as well as on any packaging for products made by that company. A vector logo is much like other types of logos, but it is created in a vector-based graphics program.
The creation of the logo is typically done with computer software that is vector-based, rather than raster-based. Vector–based images are created using geometric elements, such as shapes and lines, to create a final image. These lines and shapes are manipulated in various ways to create a vector logo, and the final product is clean and has crisp lines.
Raster-based images, on the other hand, are created in software programs that create images based on individual pixels. These programs are often used for photographic manipulation and digital editing, since pixels are often easier to work with on a photograph. Raster images can be used for logos and graphic designs as well, though there are limitations inherent to raster-based graphics that make it a poor choice for certain situations.
The sharp lines created in vector-based software are often better for display at large sizes, making a vector logo preferable for posters and billboards. Raster-based images often become jagged as they are increased in size, since the individual pixels become larger. A vector logo, on the other hand, typically remains crisp as it increases in size, since the lines and shapes become larger but still consist of the same elements. This is why vector images are often used for advertising and graphic design in which the image will be displayed at a large size.
@Mor - I wouldn't use free clip art for vector logo art, just because logos are so vital to a company, you don't want to use something that can be used by other people elsewhere.
It's not that difficult to either make something simple, or hire someone to make something that looks really good.
There are free programs and lots of tutorials online. If you've got a good idea of what you want, most people will be able to slap something passable together in a few hours.
And honestly, there are hundreds of fantastic freelancers online who would be willing to design a vector logo for a new company for a reasonable fee.
@irontoenail - It really does depend on what you're doing though. I mean, it's going to be impossible to change a photo into a vector without simplifying it a lot, so you would have to use a raster program to deal with something like that.
If you are just going for something very simple then a vector is definitely a good idea, and there is plenty of free clip art around that you can use for that.
It is much better to use vector images for any kind of logo or image that's going to be used in different ways on different products, because it's so much easier to re-size it without ruining the image.
Vectors have lines based on mathematical formulas, so if you draw a square, for example, the program will see that square as four lines that are each a certain size in relation to each other. If you make it bigger, that increases the amount of pixels used in the image.
If you draw a square in a raster program, it will see the four lines as each being made up of, say, 60 pixels and making it bigger just makes the pixels bigger, rather than increasing them, until you can see them and the edges seem jagged.
People prefer raster programs because it's easier in the short run to take a complex drawing and just scan it straight into pixels, rather than translate each component into vectors.
But in the long run it's so much better to use vector art logos, because then every part of the picture can easily be manipulated and changed and you can re-size it without worrying about pixelation.
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