Frequently Asked Questions
Email us your file to request a vectorization quote. We will reply as soon as possible with the exact amount. For the vector file to be prepared appropriately, it is recommended that you specify what the vector file will be used for, e.g. screen print shirts, signs, engraving, etc.
Once the quote is approved, we will reproduce your image in vector format and email you a proof along with a link to the payment page.
If the proof is satisfactory, complete payment to receive the vector file. The vector file will be emailed to you after complete payment is received.
TIPS to reduce vectorization costs:1. Send the best quality file
2. If there are small letters on your image; specify the font used or allow font substitution
3. Specify vector file usage: t-shirts, signs, embroidery, cups, etc.
VECTORIZATION (exact duplication)
A copy of the vector file will be sent in JPEG format - prior to sending the vector file - for proofing purposes. If the proof file does not look exactly as you expected, there will be no charges for the work performed. A refundable 50% deposit is required from first-time customers or for orders of $75 or more.
New Design Guarantee:
NEW DESIGNS (e.g. changing a photograph into a vector drawing)
Vector graphics are drawings - not photographs - so photograph vectorization means creating a new design - see photo to vector line art samples - satisfaction depends on what you had envisioned and that may not necessarily be the same as the end result. If the vector proof does not look the way you expected, you do not have to pay the remaining balance owed. New designs and photo-to-vector deposits are non-refundable.
1. The images that you supply for Vector Conversion are not shared with anyone else. We may ask for your permission to display "before and after" images on our website's samples page for comparison between the original raster image and the new vector file. Vector
2. Images displayed anywhere on the web - or published otherwise - are not necessarily public domain, even if an image does not have a copyright mark or notice, it does not mean it is free or ok for anyone to use. It is illegal to duplicate a copyrighted image without permission from its owner. By submitting an image to us for reproduction, Vector Conversions assumes you are the image's owner or have explicit permission from the owner to duplicate the image.
Turnaround time is generally 24 hours or less. Complex designs may take longer. Please specify if you have a deadline and we will let you know if it can be met. Hours of operation are:
09 am - 7 pm Pacific
10 am - 8 pm Mountain
11 am - 9 pm Central
12 pm - 10 pm Eastern
Saturday and Sunday available upon request - no extra charge
The checkout is a secure PayPal transaction but you don't need a PayPal account, just click where it reads "I do not have a PayPal account" and enter the quote amount. You do not need to enter shipping information.
Most vector conversions cost between $10 - $50. To get the lowest cost and best results, please read the next paragraph.
If you have several file formats of the same image - e.g., a jpg and a bmp- send us the higher quality file for vectorization; whichever looks biggest and best on your screen. Our specialty is to produce a nice and clean vector file from any file you may have, but a high resolution* or larger image usually shows more detail, the more detail we see on the original, the more detail your vector file will have.
*Do not manually increase the size or resolution of an image; this does not help improve the quality of the image. The image must have been originally created, scanned or photographed using a high resolution setting.
Each printer, sign maker, embroiderer, engraver, and other service providers have their unique requirements, preferred file formats and artwork guidelines specifically for their unique process or output device. If the vector file you need is being prepared for a service provider, you should first find out from them what their requirements are and their preferred file format and program version (e.g. ai file, version 8), so that your file can be prepared and saved exactly to their specifications.
Vector files can be saved in several different formats and different program versions. Unless otherwise specified, the vector file will be sent as an illustrator EPS file. We use illustrator CS4 to draw vector images but can also save as or export as any of the formats below:
AI - Adobe Illustrator (vector)
BMP - Bitmap (raster)
CDR - CorelDraw (vector)
DWG - AutoCad Drawing (vector)
DXF - AutoCad Interchange File (vector)
EMF - Enhanced Metafile (vector)
EPS - Encapsulated Postscript (vector)
GIF - Compuserve (raster)
JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group (raster)
PCT - Macintosh PICT (raster)
PDF - PDFs can originate from either vector or raster files
PNG - Portable Network Graphics Bitmap (raster)
PSD - Adobe Photoshop (raster)
SCT - Scitex CT (raster)
SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics (vector)
SWF - Macromedia Flash (raster)
TGA - Targa (raster)
TIFF - Tag Image File Format (raster)
WMF - Windows Metafile (vector)
New to Vector Graphics? - You need a vector program to open a vector file and maintain the vector data. Open the appropriate vector program and from the menu select FILE >> OPEN. If you simply double click on the vector file, your computer may find another program to open it and change the file's native format. Opening the file with a non-vector program like Photoshop will rasterize the image and the file will be of no use to anyone requiring vector art.
If you are not familiar with vector files and do not have a vector graphic editor but simply acquired vector art for a third party: a printer, sign-maker, etc., my suggestion is don't bother trying to open it, just send the vector file to your supplier and request a proof.
Vector Conversions supplies proofs in jpg format so that anyone without a vector editor can view them.
I know what I am doing, I still can't open the vector file! - Then there is the compatibility issue. Not every vector program can open every vector file (e.g. an Adobe Illustrator ai file may not be opened with CorelDraw and a CorelDraw cdr file may not be opened with Illustrator) but most vector programs can import/open andexport/save as eps file format.
Unless otherwise specified, Vector Conversions supplies vector eps.
Can't open eps either? - Simply down-saving the file in an older version of eps (postscript level 3.0/adobe illustrator 8) has worked for my loyal patrons every single time, regardless of what vector editing software they are using.
We use Adobe Illustrator CS4 to draw vectors and unless otherwise specified, send the final vector graphic as an eps (version CS). For customers requiring coreldraw files we import the eps into a coreldraw X3 document and send as .cdr
Editing individual elements on the vector file we supply to you:
Most files are supplied with no transparencies or transparencies flattened, with closed objects and path strokes outlined, fonts converted to outlines/curves and all elements merged (knockout) with no overlapping paths so the files can be suitable for all processes. Because of this it is harder to edit individual elements and text. Depending on how the vectors are drawn and if at all possible, we may keep a separate version with movable individual elements. Because this alternate version is not suitable for all process, we do not automatically release them. Please request this alternate version if you wish to modify the vector file.
Editing text in the vector files we supply to you:
In many cases we must convert the font to outlines/curves in order to customize the font and match the original artwork, or we draw each letter individually; in these cases editable text is not available. If editable text is available in the file we prepare for you, a small fee may apply to provide you with the actual font files (windows based .ttf font files).
Vector Conversion software (automated tracing) does not always produce good results, the imperfections in a low quality file can translate to the vector file. We manually drawn node by node. Automated vector tracing is only used under special circumstances if it generates good results and alongside manual editing.
Some service providers like specialty printers, sign companies, and engravers require vector art for their processes. Vector files also deliver professional-quality graphics for web use.
Vector art is scalable - Vector art files are composed of objects based on mathematical calculations so they can be scaled to any size without losing quality . Raster images on the other hand - like jpg, gif, bmp, tif - are made of pixels and do not scale up without losing quality, raster images usually end up with a "pixelated" look when enlarged.
Because Vector graphics do not use pixels they are resolution-independent, they can be printed at the highest resolution the output device allows. For example if a printer requests a 600 dpi (dots per inch) image file, the vector file can be printed at 600 dpi, if a printer request a 1200 dpi file, the same vector file can be printed at 1200 dpi, etc. Raster images are limited to the number of pixels per inch included in the file.
With vector images you can reduce the number of color plates the printer will need to print your image - and reduce printing costs - and you can select from pre-printed swatches for an exact color match.
More... Raster vs Vector