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FILE FORMATS

When using the laser to cut, engrave or mark, we need to have a VECTOR FILE of your artwork, whether it's your company logo, text or images.

 

​There are two different file formats - Vector Files and Raster Files.

The two formats store different types of information which can be used in a variety of ways, using design software programmes, as explained below.​

WHAT IS A VECTOR FILE?

A vector image is made up of points, lines and curves (or paths) that contain colours, gradients and other editable effects. It can be re-sized easily; scaled from a small business card up to a huge billboard and vice versa without losing resolution.

 

​A vector image can be identified by enlarging or zooming in on the image and it will always appear smooth. Text is very much a common type of vector image as it doesn't matter how much you increase the font size, it will look the same.

 

​File sizes are very often smaller and are easy to transfer from one computer to another and over the internet.

 

​Vector file formats are CDR, AI, DXF, DWG, EPS and SVG and are most commonly used in programs such as Illustrator, AutoCAD and CorelDRAW.

WHAT IS A RASTER FILE?

A raster image (aka a bitmap) is made up from tiny blocks (also known as pixels) of colour.

 

Because the image is formed using a fixed number of blocks, it cannot be re-sized and manipulated without losing its resolution - meaning the image will not be smooth; it'll be distorted and look "pixelated".

 

​A raster image can be identified by zooming in on the file where you'll see the little individual squares.

 

​File sizes are often quite big as there's a lot of information and problems can occur when transferring files.

 

​Raster file formats are JPG (JPEG), GIF, PNG, TIF and are most commonly used in photographs.

TOP TIP

Enlarge the image by zooming in and see how the image reacts; if the image remains the same, it's a vector; if it becomes pixelated and loses resolution, it's a raster.

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ASHFORD LASERS

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