Bitmap Vs. Vector Art
So you want to enlarge your beautiful logo so you can use it in your lighted sign. You expand the logo, only to be disappointed with the results. The logo looked great in its original dimension, but now it’s just a mess of pixels. All you see are these funny looking squares, and everything seems to be out of place. Now, how does this affect us in the sign making business?
When we get a request for a lighted sign we obviously need an image or logo to work with.
This brings up the question: What is Vector Art?
Well, in order for us to print a sign, we obviously need something to print. You design a logo, attach it to an email, and send it in with the dimensions you need. Later on during the day, you get a phone call saying that we can print the logo, but it’s extremely pixelated. You debate your options and finally decide that it’s okay, because who’s going to stand close enough to see it.
Then, you get the print. Now you know exactly what we meant by pixelated. From a few hundred feet away, the logo is fine. Stand directly in front of it, and all you see are a ton of tiny colored squares somewhat resembling your logo. What are all these little squares? How could we have designed a logo without them?
There are two major graphics that are used in the sign making business: Bitmap and Vectors. Bitmaps are images that are made up of small squares or dots per inch (DPI). Each one of these squares is colored so that when they are all put together you get an image. When you zoom into an image, you begin to see these little squares. These squares are called pixels. The higher the resolution of an image (the more pixels per inch), the more clearly the image stays as you zoom in. However, you can only zoom in to an extent before you see these pixels. As you increase or decrease the image size, you continue to sacrifice the image quality.
That is why we ask that you use Vector format line art.
What are Vectors?
Vectors are mathematical equations that form lines, curves, and shapes. They allow us to manipulate a shape font without sacrificing the quality. We can reshape through the nodes, or increase and decrease size freely. In the end, our image or font is still crystal clear. Yes, vectors do have their disadvantages, but overall they have come a long way over the past decade. We are still not able to draw realistic images with vectors, but as this technology improves we are on our way to pixel independent world.