Why Your Marketing Team Should Use Vector Images and How to Do It

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Vector images can be created in programs like PhotoShop, DrawPlus and Illustrator. Discover why your marketing team should be using them.

Brand marketing is becoming a visual profession in a digital world. Millennials want to pull up a search, type a few words, and immediately buy a product on a website they can trust.

Your brand is enhanced by the images you choose and high-quality visuals are key to success.

Vector images, which are scalable to match any resolution without losing quality, are invaluable to most marketing campaigns.

Are you considering making the switch? If you’ve always used bitmap images, here are reasons for incorporating vector images into your marketing strategy:

Related Article:Worth a Thousand Words: 15 Free Tools for Viral Image Creation

Integrity

Perhaps the greatest advantage of vector images is the option to resize them to suit your needs. There are no image disruptions when you reformat and resize these types of files. Thus, you won't risk the integrity of your marketing visuals.

Versatility

Because they retain their original quality, vector images can be repurposed and reused across multiple marketing campaigns. On your website, in a promotional video, in your company stationary no matter where you need a vector image, the file will fit perfectly more often than not. Vector images work across marketing platforms.

Professionalism

Vector images provide sleek and bold visuals by utilizing Bezier curves to build images around "objects" in whatever graphics program you choose. Thus, vector images aren’t bogged down with unnecessary detail. They help your brand tell a story and create strong imagery by way of design.

Appeal

In addition to being sleek, the no-clutter straightforward nature of vectors inherently makes them hip and modern. In the current visual marketing landscape, less is more. Customers respond to images that are focused and aim to grab their attention without distraction.

Load-ability

"Load-ability" means that, due to their construction, vector images load faster compared to traditional bitmap images. Speeding up your web page improves the user experience and boosts your SEO. In addition, the file size of a vector image is typically very small.

Related Article: Top Free Resources for Creating Images and GIFs

Affordability

Most importantly, vector images can be purchased online in large packs for little cost. Considering how reusable vector images can be, the return on investment for vector images can be attractive. You can use vector images for infographics, banners, logos and icons so that you can get the most out of your purchase.

Practical Application

If you have experience in graphic design, vector images can be created in programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. In fact, your marketing team can vectorize images in Photoshop and Illustrator if you have a stockpile of bitmap images you’d want to utilize in future campaigns.

To "vectorize" an image simply means to turn a bitmap image into a vector. The opposite process, converting a vector image into a bitmap image, is called “rasterizing” that image. Adobe Illustrator is an application that is specifically designed to create and store vector images and is, therefore, your best tool for creating and modifying vectors.

Vectorizing Images

Once you’ve opened Adobe Illustrator follow these steps to create a vector from a bitmap image.

  1. Open the bitmap image in Illustrator.
  2. Navigate to the “Live Trace” option in the toolbar. Click on the “Tracing Presets and Options” menu icon.
  3. Select a preset option to vectorize the image. For example, selecting “32 Colors” will create a vector using 32 distinct colors.
  4. Click “Expand” in the Options menu to create a separate path for each color.
  5. Customize the settings for each path by clicking “Tracing Options” under the “Tracing Presets and Options” menu. From here you can modify settings such as “Blur,” “Threshold,” and “Mode.”
  6. Click “Preview” at any time to view the resulting vector so you can experiment and play with the image before saving it.

Editing Vectors

Stock vector images like those you can download from Shutterstock can be modified easily within Illustrator. To modify an image, do the following.

  1. Open the vector you’ve chosen. It should be saved as an Adobe Illustrator (.AI) file.
  2. Navigate the “Layers” panel to locate the specific objects (previously called paths) you wish to edit. Most vectors will have objects grouped together in a logical manner.
  3. Edit the color of any objects you wish by clicking “Edit,” “Edit Colors,” then “Recolor Art.” You can choose from pre-made colors within Illustrator, create new hues, or navigate to your Swatches panel to lift a color.
  4. To edit colors and other attributes manually, you can use the Direct Selection Tool to individually select and edit each vector object in your image.
  5. You can also edit, cut, remove, and reuse various vector objects within an image by separating an object group. To do this, right-click an object group and click “Ungroup.”
  6. At this point, you can easily delete certain objects, load other objects into your vector image, and change the layout by repositioning objects.
  7. If you’d like to create a repeated pattern navigate to the Pattern Options panel. Here you can move, rotate, and re-scale objects in a repeating pattern to serve as wallpaper or a background.

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The Takeaway

If you have a modest marketing budget, you can find professional and affordable vector images on Shutterstock. They will kickstart your marketing campaign and offer you greater flexibility and control in the design of your visual marketing assets. Editing and creating these vector images is intuitively simple in Adobe Illustrator.

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