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The Fun of Vectors

The accessibility of online graphics has made it easy to create unique personal projects, as well as business materials. Even for the novice, the diversity of images ensures you can find what you need without worrying about altering it.

Yet, sometimes it's just fun to play. Whether adding, subtracting or changing a colour, there's a format that allows you to download an image, then redesign it or resize it to suit your wants and personal style — vectors.

First, let's consider that you've found the perfect illustration, but it's a little small for your purposes. The versatile vector, unlike bitmap images, which are comprised of pixels, is based on mathematical equations such as points, lines and curves.  So, while a JPG or PNG might distort somewhat when you make it larger, the vector formats will maintain an image's crispness and quality.

Another attribute of vectors is that they can always, unless they've been created with a coloured background that is part of the design,  be saved as a new file with a transparent background.

Should you find two graphics close to what you are looking for, but neither is exactly right, selecting the vector files will allow you to combine elements of both to make your own unique design.

Perfection though, is of course always elusive, even for vectors. One disadvantage is that they can't be used in producing realistic photos, as they don't possess a continuous flow of subtle colour tone and shade variations.

Vectors come in a number of formats, including AI, EPS, PDF, SVG and WMF. Working with them requires quality image-editing software. Among the most popular are CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator.  There are a few free online options too.

While they can be opened in Adobe Photoshop or free software programs such as GIMP, they will be rasterized. This means that they no longer function as a vector.  This is not to say that these types of programs don't have their uses. For example,  you can increase the size of an image when you open it in Photoshop.

To help you learn more about vectors check out this  informative site:

Tech-FAQ Vectors

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